KAWASAKI – Koki Mizuno denied South Korean striker Chong Tese more glory with a late strike, giving JEF United Chiba a 1-1 draw away to Kawasaki Frontale in the J. League on Sunday.
Two-goal hero in Kawasaki’s Asian Champions League triumph in midweek, Jong looked set to lift Kawasaki into second in the table with a well-taken header midway through the second half at Todoroki Stadium.
But Mizuno’s free kick from the left eluded everyone and drifted beyond Eiji Kawashima’s despairing dive and inside the far post to give Chiba a share of the spoils eight minutes from time.
Although there was an element of good fortune about Chiba’s goal, defeat would have been harsh on the visitors, who had looked the more threatening in the first half.
Captain Yuto Sato raced onto a Mizuno through ball and skipped past Yoshinobu Minowa before Kawasaki ‘keeper Eiji Kawashima got down well to snuff out the danger in the ninth minute.
A superb pass from Bulgarian defender Ilian Stoyanov created another chance for Chiba, but Seiichiro Maki was unable to connect properly after Satoru Yamagishi had whipped the ball into the danger zone.
Kawasaki let Tomonori Tateishi off the hook when Chong collected a fluffed clearance from the Chiba ‘keeper only to fire his team’s best chance of the half wide of the target.
Tateishi atoned for his earlier blunder by diving full stretch to push away a venomous free kick from the energetic Chong, but Kawasaki finally made the breakthrough in the 66th minute when the South Korean arrived unmarked at the far post to direct home Yusuke Mori’s cross.
The result put Kawasaki fourth in the table, while Urawa Reds moved into second place, two points adrift of Gamba Osaka, after a 1-0 win at Kashima Antlers in the day’s other game.
Robson Ponte’s 57th-minute strike separated the teams.
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