• Kyodo

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Shunsuke Maeda kept Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s title hopes alive with the only goal of the game in the 1-0 win away to Albirex Niigata in the J. League first division on Sunday.

Sanfrecce recovered from last week’s 4-3 home defeat to Urawa Reds as Maeda headed home Hisato Sato’s cross two minutes before the break at Big Swan Stadium to seal all three points and move his side within nine points of league leader Gamba Osaka.

Gamba, which was held to a 3-3 draw at home to secondplace Kashima Antlers on Saturday, has 48 points after 25 games with Kashima on 47 and three teams including Urawa Reds on 41. Cerezo Osaka is in sixth on 40 with Sanfrecce another point back.

In the day’s other game, FC Tokyo was held to a 0-0 draw at home to struggling Oita Trinita.

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