SAITAMA – Pericles Chamusca made the perfect start as manager of Oita Trinita as the relegation-haunted club stunned Urawa Reds 2-1 away while Gamba Osaka moved four points clear at the top of the J. League first division on Saturday.
Hiroshima at Expo stadium.
The Brazilian Araujo, who is the league’s top scorer, grabbed a hat trick to lift Gamba to a come-from-behind 4-2 win over Sanfrecce Hiroshima while Jubilo Iwata leapfrogged Urawa into third place with a 2-0 win at home to Omiya Ardija.
Gamba leads the table with 47 points from 23 games, four clear of idle Kashima Antlers, who travel to Kawasaki Frontale on Sunday. JEF United Chiba plays Tokyo Verdy in Sunday’s other fixture.
At Saitama Stadium 2002, Urawa lost ground on Gamba as goals in each half from midfielder Takashi Umeda and Brazilian striker Magno Alves gave Oita its first win in 12 matches.
“It was a fantastic win. We were talking about David and Goliath in the team meeting and it really was a David and Goliath story today,” said match-winner Magno Alves.
The visitor deservedly went in front in the 19th minute when Umeda ghosted in at the far post to slot home Tulio’s pass.
Tatsuya Tanaka diverted a Yuichiro Nagai header to equalize and Urawa should have got its noses in front nine minutes after the break but Keita Suzuki put a free header into the side netting.
His miss proved costly as Magno Alves snatched the winner with a cool finish 18 minutes from time.
“The players really made a huge effort,” said Oita manager Chamusca, who took over at the start of this week following the resignation of South Korean Hwangbo Kwan.
“I only had three days training with the players so wasn’t able to convey what I wanted them to do tactically but I was able to work on the psychological side of things,” said the Brazilian.
“I told them to be confident, be courageous and just give everything they have in their hearts to come away with a win.”
In Shizuoka Prefecture, Bobby Cullen grabbed his 10th of the season to help keep alive Iwata’s title hopes by putting it within nine points of Gamba on 38, one ahead of Urawa and two clear of Hiroshima.
In other games, former Iwata star Rodrigo Gral was on target in Yokohama F. Marinos’ 2-0 win at Vissel Kobe while Ze Carlos’ 37th-minute goal proved decisive as Cerezo Osaka won 2-1 at Albirex Niigata.
Nagoya Grampus Eight crushed lowly Kashiwa Reysol 4-0 while Mitsuhiro Toda scored the only goal of the game in FC Tokyo’s 1-0 win over visiting Shimizu S-Pulse.
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