SHIZUOKA – South Korea international striker Ahn Jung Hwan struck twice as Yokohama F. Marinos kicked off its second-stage title defense with a 2-1 win away over Shimizu S-Pulse in the J. League on Sunday.
Ahn gave Yokohama the lead when he drove home a header from substitute Tatsuhiko Kubo in the 64th minute at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa.
The 28-year-old completed his brace 10 minutes from time for his ninth goal of the season before defender Tomoyoshi Tsurumi pulled one back for Shimizu with a 90th-minute header.
Former Japan midfielder Kazuyuki Toda played the full 90 minutes in his first league match for Shimizu since returning from a loan spell at Dutch first-division side ADO Den Haag.
First-stage champion Yokohama is aiming to win an unprecedented fourth consecutive stage. The two-stage format ends after this season.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.