NAGOYA – Brazilian striker Marques struck his second goal of the season as Nagoya Grampus Eight knocked FC Tokyo off the top of the J. League with a 1-0 win Wednesday.
FC Tokyo was left to rue a missed first-half penalty and its first league defeat of the campaign meant Kashima Antlers took sole possession of the lead after a 2-0 win at home to promoted Omiya Ardija.
Takuya Nozawa scored for the second match running to give Kashima the lead in the 24th minute and a 78th-minute penalty from Japan midfielder Mitsuo Ogasawara sealed the win to move Toninho Cerezo’s men on to 13 points from five matches.
FC Tokyo dropped to second on 10 points, ahead of Yokohama F. Marinos on goal difference. Defending champion Yokohama beat Kashiwa Reysol 1-0 thanks to Ahn Jung Hwan’s fourth goal in three matches at Tokyo’s National Stadium.
At Mizuho Stadium, FC Tokyo spurned a glorious chance to take the lead from the penalty spot in the 11th minute after Yasuyuki Konno was pulled down by Takahiro Masukawa.
Japan goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki guessed right and dived to his left to palm away a poor penalty from Brazilian striker Lucas.
At the other end Marques brought a superb reaction save out of Narazaki’s national team rival Yoichi Doi in the 23rd minute but the Brazilian made the breakthrough in the 62nd minute by sweeping home a neat pass from Naoshi Nakamura.
Elsewhere, Kazuyuki Morisaki was on target twice as Sanfrecce Hiroshima picked up its first win of the season in style with a 4-1 thrashing of 10-man Tokyo Verdy, but Kawasaki Frontale was the day’s biggest winner as it thumped Vissel Kobe 6-1 away.
JEF United Chiba preserved its unbeaten record to go fourth with a 3-1 win away to struggling Jubilo Iwata, which had former JEF defender Takayuki Chano sent off early in the second half.
Last season’s runners-up Urawa Reds could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Shimizu S-Pulse but were replaced at the foot of the table by Oita Trinita, which was beaten 2-1 at home to Cerezo Osaka, Ze Carlos netting the winner in the dying stages.
Cerezo’s crosstown rival Gamba Osaka drew 1-1 at home to Albirex Niigata.
No return to Real
MADRID (AP) Former Real Madrid coach Vicente Del Bosque said Wednesday he won’t consider a return to the club because of the manner of his dismissal nearly two years ago.
Although current coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo has hauled the club back into contention for the league title, Spanish media reports say he may be ousted at the end of the season.
“I will never return to Madrid as I consider myself a man of principle who doesn’t do things for personal motives,” Del Bosque said in a TV interview. “I could never have imagined that, after so many years with Real Madrid, I would find myself in such a cold situation.”
Del Bosque was fired in June 2003, a day after guiding Madrid to a record 29th Spanish league title. He led the team to two Champions League triumphs and two league titles during three and a half years in charge.
His dismissal severed a 38-year connection with Madrid. He played for the club for 11 seasons, winning the title five times. Before he was head coach, he worked on the training staff for many years.
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