SAITAMA – J-. League leading scorer Washington and Yuichiro Nagai struck late in each half Sunday to help Urawa Reds beat crosstown rivals Omiya Ardija 2-0 and move back into third place in the first division.
Atsushi Yanagisawa (left) of the Kashima Antlers competes for the ball with Kyoto Purple Sanga’s Arata
Kodama during Sunday’s J. League match at Kashima Stadium.
Washington netted his 16th goal of the season on the stroke of halftime and Nagai added an injury-time strike on a counterattack after Urawa soaked up second-half pressure from the home side.
Guido Buchwald’s side moved onto 46 points from 22 league matches, three adrift of Gamba Osaka and one behind Kawasaki Frontale, while Omiya are in ninth on 30 points. Gamba beat Cerezo Osaka 3-1 and Kawasaki edged Yokohama F Marinos 2-1 on Saturday.
In the other game played Sunday, Kashima Antlers squeaked by lowly Kyoto Purple Sanga 1-0 on a second-half own goal.
At Saitama Stadium 2002, Washington put Urawa ahead with a typically clinical finish after Omiya keeper Hiroki Aratani spilled the ball into the path of the Brazilian after failing to hold a shot from Tomoyuki Sakai.
Substitute Takahito Soma missed a chance to double the lead for the Reds when he flashed an angled shot just wide of the post midway through the second half before Omiya pressed hard for an equalizer.
Toninho forced a fine save from Norihiro Yamagishi with a diving header in the dying minutes in perhaps Ardija’s best scoring opportunity of the evening. Moments later, Nagai killed off the match against the run of play after being fed by Robson Ponte.
At Kashima Stadium, relegation-threatened Kyoto were the better side for much of the game but conceded the decider in the 67th minute when defender Arata Kodama put a left-wing cross from Toru Araiba into his own net.
Kazuki Teshima missed a glorious chance to equalize minutes from the final whistle but his free header sailed just wide of the post.
Kashima are fifth on 39 points, while Kyoto remain 16th in the 18-team table on 15, two ahead of the bottom two — Avispa Fukuoka and Cerezo Osaka.
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