NAGOYA – Brazilian striker Ueslei scored a hat trick as Nagoya Grampus Eight came from behind to defeat 10-man Yokohama F. Marinos 3-2 on Sunday.
The win kept alive Nagoya’s slim second-stage title hopes while denying Yokohama, which is chasing a two-stage double, a return to the top of the standings.
With three matches of the stage remaining, Nagoya has 18 points and is four behind Urawa Reds, who are top, and two behind Yokohama, which is in a four-way tie for second place with Tokyo Verdy, FC Tokyo, and defending champion Jubilo Iwata.
FC Tokyo thrashed relegation-threatened Vissel Kobe 4-1 in Sunday’s other match.
At Toyota Stadium, Ueslei fired Nagoya into the lead in the 13th minute with a well-taken strike but Daisuke Sakata leveled for the visitors 10 minutes before the break.
Japan goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki then gifted Yokohama the lead when he inexplicably allowed a Yoo Sang Chul free-kick to squirm through his hands and over the line five minutes into the second half.
Ueslei pulled Nagoya back into the game with a curling free-kick in the 69th minute before Yokohama was reduced to 10 men soon after when Japan defender Naoki Matsuda was sent off.
Nagoya capitalized on its numerical advantage as Ueslei completed his treble and the comeback 11 minutes from time, stabbing home his 18th goal of the season from Kojiro Kaimoto’s right-wing cross.
Suzuki sets up goal
GENK, Belgium (Kyodo) Japan striker Takayuki Suzuki set up the first goal as Heusden-Zolder moved off the bottom of the Belgian first division with a 2-0 home win over Germinal Beerschot on Saturday.
Suzuki, who played the full 90 minutes for the first time in more than a month, set up Kenyan striker Mike Origi with a neat pass from the right for the opener on the stroke of halftime before Dimitri de Conde wrapped up the points in the 51st minute.
Heusden’s second win of the season lifted it over Charleroi into 17th place in the 18-team division with eight points from 12 games.
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