• Kyodo


Japan striker Tatsuhiko Kubo struck the decisive goal for the second week running as the Yokohama F. Marinos edged JEF United Ichihara 1-0 in a top-of-the-table clash in the J. League on Saturday.

News photoKeiji Tamada(right) of Kashiwa Reysol shoots past Nagoya Grampus defender
Masayuki Omori in Kashiwa, Chiba Pref.

The lanky 27-year-old, scorer in last week’s 1-0 win over Gamba Osaka, converted Yukihiko Sato’s free-kick from the right in the 20th minute to keep first-stage winner Yokohama in pole position in the second stage and on course for the double.

“I told the each of the boys to go and express themselves but make sure they get three points,” Yokohama manager Takeshi Okada said after the match.

“It’s still tight at the top so we just have to take it one game at a time and try to keep digging out the results,” added the former Japan coach.

The win moved Yokohama on to 18 points from nine games, one clear of the Urawa Reds, who beat struggling Cerezo Osaka 3-0 with 10 men after having defender Yuri Nikiforov sent off early in the second half.

Two goals in two minutes from Emerson and substitute Makoto Hasebe put Hans Ooft’s men on their way before in-form Tatsuya Tanaka completed the scoring nine minutes from time.

Elsewhere, Brazilian striker Ueslei grabbed his 14th goal of the season as Nagoya came from two goals down to hold Kashiwa Reysol 2-2 away while Kashima Antlers’ unbeaten record in the second stage was demolished in a bad tempered affair against FC Tokyo.

Nagoya Grampus Eight moved into third ahead of Ichihara on goal difference.

Kashima gifted FC Tokyo the lead with an own goal in the 17th minute and had veteran defender Akira Narahashi and Japan midfielder Mitsuo Ogasawara both sent off in a 5-1 drubbing at Ajinomoto Stadium.

Amaral and fellow Brazilian Kelly both found the scoresheet for the home side, which finished the game with 10 men after substitute Yoshiro Abe was sent off 15 minutes time.

In Ishikawa Prefecture, Vegalta Sendai finally ended its league record 19-match winless streak as a 49th-minute effort from Hisato Sato gave it a 1-0 “away” victory over Gamba.

Defending league champion Jubilo Iwata registered only its third win of the second stage as goals from Norihiro Nishi and Ryoichi Maeda sealed a 3-1 win at Vissel Kobe.

In Sunday’s matches, Oita Trinita welcome Tokyo Verdy while Shimizu S-Pulse host Kyoto Purple Sanga.

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