HIROSHIMA – Goals from former Japan internationals Akinori Nishizawa and Hiroaki Morishima kept Cerezo Osaka in the hunt for its first title with a 2-1 win at Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the J. League first division on Sunday.
|Yuzo Kobayashi of Kashiwa Reysol tackles Kawasaki Frontale striker Juninho in the 43rd minute of their J. League clash at Todoroki Stadium.
The visitor fell behind after nine minutes when Kazuyuki Morisaki headed home a corner from North Korean midfielder Ri Han Jae, but Nishizawa pounced on a blunder from Hiroshima ‘keeper Akihiro Sato and poked home the equalizer on the stroke of halftime.
The 33-year-old Morishima won it for Cerezo with a 66th-minute header as his side reclaimed third spot and moved within five points of leader and local rival Gamba Osaka.
Victory was Cerezo’s seventh in a row while Kawasaki Frontale made it six wins on the trot after brushing aside Kashiwa Reysol 3-1 in the day’s other fixture.
A close-range header from Japan defender Yoshinobu Minowa put Frontale in the lead and Kashiwa, who finished with nine men in last week’s 7-0 defeat at Urawa Reds, had Yuzo Kobayashi sent off a minute before the interval.
Kobayashi took down Juninho from behind in the box and the Brazilian striker dusted himself off to send Yuta Minami the wrong way from the penalty spot for his 13th goal of the season.
Marcus added a third in the 82nd minute before Kashiwa replied with a late penalty from Reinaldo.
Kawasaki improved to 46 points from 28 games and sit in fifth place ahead of JEF United Chiba on goal difference.
OSAKA (Kyodo) Gamba Osaka defender Tsuneyasu Miyamoto will miss his side’s Nabisco Cup final appearance next month after sustaining a knee injury that will sideline him for about four weeks, Gamba officials said Sunday.
The 28-year-old Japan international had to be stretchered off the pitch after clashing with an opponent in Saturday’s surprise 2-1 defeat at home to Oita Trinita and was later diagnosed with damaged ligaments in his right knee.
J. League leader Gamba will be looking to claim its first trophy when it takes on JEF United Chiba in the Nabisco Cup final on Nov. 5 at Tokyo’s National Stadium.
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.