AINO, Shizuoka Pref. — The Yokohama F. Marinos launched their J. League Division One title campaign in a convincing manner, beating defending champion Jubilo Iwata 4-2 on Friday at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa.
“All of our players fought hard and did all they could for their team, which satisfied me,” said Marinos manager Takeshi Okada.
Taking advantage of Jubilo’s defensive confusion, the Marinos jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes with Akihiro Endo striking in the third minute and winger Yukihiko Sato slotting home a loose ball in the 10th minute.
However, the home side responded immediately.
Jubilo forward Ryoichi Maeda, who started in place of the injured Masashi Nakayama, tapped in a Norihiro Nishi pass in the 12th minute, before Toshiya Fujita equalized with a header in the 27th minute.
Three minutes after the break, Yokohama broke the 2-2 deadlock. Brazilian forward Marquinhos intercepted a Jubilo pass and fed Endo, who went down the right flank and crossed the ball for Daisuke Oku to strike home at the far post.
Marquinhos hit the bar in the 63rd minute before knocking in a header from a Sato cross in the 70th minute to shatter the Marinos’ rally attempt.
The remainder of J1 opening games will be staged on Saturday and Sunday.
Zico calls for camp
AINO, Shizuoka Pref. — Japan coach Zico will call up all of his squad members, including the Europe-based players, for a weeklong training camp and is hoping to play a game on March 29, the Brazilian said Friday at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa.
Zico’s comments followed the Japan Football Association’s decision to cancel its U.S. tour.
“The cancellation of the U.S. tour couldn’t be helped because of the current international situation,” Zico said
“So I will call up all the members of our squad on March 24 to train together for a week instead. I’ve asked the (Japan Football) association to arrange a game, possibly on March 29.”
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