ICHIHARA, Chiba Pref. – Home is where the heart is for JEF United Chiba.
Ilian Stoyanov’s first goal for Chiba and a second-half strike from Yuki Abe gave Ivica Osim’s men a 2-0 win over 10-man Omiya Ardija in the J. League first-division on Monday, maintaining its unbeaten record in the league this season at Ichihara Stadium.
Victory was no more than Chiba deserved against a disappointing Omiya side that had Brazilian midfielder Toninho sent off early in the second half and blew a chance to go fourth in the table.
Saitama rivals Urawa Reds took up fourth place after rebounding from back-to-back defeats with a 2-0 win in the day’s other game at home to Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Marcus Tulio Tanaka and Tatsuya Tanaka on target for the Reds.
At Ichihara Stadium, Chiba enjoyed the better of a tepid opening period and took the lead on 20 minutes when Bulgarian defender Stoyanov picked up a return pass from Mario Haas and coolly lifted the ball over the onrushing Hiroki Aratani.
In the second half Abe finally made his side’s numerical advantage pay with a clinical finish 18 minutes from time.
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