• Kyodo

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Midfielder Kengo Nakamura masterminded Omiya Ardija’s downfall with two goals in a solid display as Kawasaki Frontale romped to a 5-1 win in the J. League on Saturday.

Nakamura scored his team’s first and last goals and also set up Juninho for his first of the night in front of watching Japan coach Ivica Osim as Kawasaki stayed in touch with Gamba Osaka and Urawa Reds.

With Gamba playing Nagoya Grampus Eight on Sunday, Urawa claimed top spot after a 2-1 win at first-division whipping boys Cerezo Osaka. Kawasaki stayed third in the table two points behind the Reds.

“It was nice to score the opening goal, that was very important for us,” said Nakamura, who was replaced by Taku Harada for the final 16 minutes. “But I got subbed so that tells you that there are some things in my game that I need to work on.”

“I didn’t know the Japan coach was watching but anyway I’m not thinking about myself. It’s all about the team and the team winning today is the most important thing,” added the 25-year-old.

At Nagai Stadium, Satoshi Horinouchi put Urawa in front with a 17th-minute tap-in and Cerezo’s hopes of a comeback took a hit when striker Yoshito Okubo was sent off.

Okubo, who on Wednesday scored his first goals for Cerezo since returning from Real Mallorca, was shown the red card in the 51st minute and Yuichiro Nagai made it 2-0 before Kota Fujimoto pulled one back for Cerezo three minutes from time.

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