Captain Takuya Yamada scored twice as Tokyo Verdy came from two goals down to hold 10-man Nagoya Grampus Eight in a thrilling 4-4 draw in the J. League on Sunday.
Leading 4-2 at the interval, Nagoya had Tomoyuki Sakai sent off in the 56th minute and Verdy capitalized on its numerical advantage as Cameroon striker Patrick Mboma reduced the deficit with a stunning volley before Yamada grabbed his second of the match 19 minutes from time to earn a point.
The result meant both teams missed out on a chance to go top of the table. Nagoya is in fourth on 14 points from eight games played in the second stage, one behind the leader Yokohama F. Marinos, with Verdy another point back in sixth.
On Saturday, Japan international Tatsuhiko Kubo grabbed his 10th goal of the season to give Yokohama a 1-0 win over Gamba Osaka.
Verdy gifted Nagoya the lead in the sixth minute of a see-saw first half when goalkeeper Yoshinari Takagi fumbled a routine shot from Tetsuya Okayama and pushed the ball over his own goalline.
With Verdy being run ragged on both flanks, Kojiro Kaimoto doubled the lead by driving home a Marques cross from the left before Takeshi Hirano pulled one back for the home side with a far-post header on 21 minutes.
Brazilian striker Ueslei and Marques both added to Nagoya’s tally either side of Yamada’s deflected shot, which gave Japan international Seigo Narazaki no chance in the Grampus goal.
Nagoya was reduced to 10 men when Sakai was somewhat harshly booked for the second time for a bit of jostling and Mboma scored a contender for goal of the season eight minutes later as he juggled the ball on his thighs before turning to rifle beyond Narazaki’s despairing dive.
Yamada headed home the equalizer from Atsuhiro Miura’s corner to round off the scoring but Verdy was given a scare when Ueslei saw his injury-time free-kick come back of the cross bar.
The day’s other match also ended all square as defending champion Jubilo Iwata was held 1-1 at home by Kashiwa Reysol.
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