• Kyodo

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Japan midfielder Junichi Inamoto gave a lively first-half performance as Fulham edged closer to safety in the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Sunderland on Saturday.

Inamoto created Fulham’s best chance in the opening 45 minutes at Loftus Road, getting to the byline and pulling the ball back for Steed Malbranque. But Sunderland keeper Thomas Sorensen saved well from the Frenchman and Louis Saha was then denied on the followup.

Fulham spent most of the second half on the defensive but stole all three points on an 85th-minute header by Saha.

“I was happy with my performance in the first half but felt a bit tired after the break,” said Inamoto, who was replaced by Abdeslam Ouaddou in the 61st minute.

Meanwhile in Italy, Hidetoshi Nakata’s Parma let slip a chance to gain ground on the Serie A leader after being held 1-1 at home by struggling Modena.

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