YOKOHAMA – Goals in each half from Keita Sugimoto and Shosuke Katayama provided Nagoya with a tonic as Grampus Eight recorded a morale-boosting 2-0 win at Yokohama F. Marinos in the J-League on Saturday.
Sugimoto put Nagoya in front with a fine individual effort early on and Seigo Narazaki saved a crucial penalty to protect the visitors’ lead in the second half. Substitute Katayama completed a deserved win at Nissan Stadium.
Having lost seven out of its last eight matches in all competitions, few would have backed Nagoya taking three points off a team that crushed Kashiwa Reysol 3-0 in the Nabisco Cup in midweek and extended its unbeaten streak to five games.
But F. Marinos looked like a pale shadow of the team that had racked up 17 goals in its previous five outings. Early in the match Sugimoto mugged Yuji Nishizawa and Yuzo Kurihara to fire the visitors in front after 12 minutes.
Sugimoto’s pace and movement gave Yokohama all kinds of problems and the 24-year-old should have doubled his tally when he stormed through only to be thwarted by Tetsuya Enomoto after 49 minutes.
“Our recent form has not been good for confidence but I have never doubted the quality of my team,” said Nagoya manager Sef Vergoossen.
“We beat very tough opponents who have been especially strong in the last month. If you look in their goals for and goals against column you’ll see it was not an easy task,” he said.
Nagoya improved to 18 points from 11 matches, three behind leaders Gamba Osaka, who take on Urawa Reds on Sunday.
Elsewhere, 40-year-old former Japan striker Kazuyoshi Miura celebrated his 305th J-League appearance with a goal as Yokohama FC temporarily moved off the bottom of the table with a shocking 2-0 win at Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Jungo Fujimoto was on target twice as Shimizu S-Pulse went third with a 3-1 win at home to Albirex Niigata.
First-half goals from Tadanari Lee and Franca saw Kashiwa move level on points with Gamba with a 2-0 defeat of Oita Trinita. Oita had Taikai Uemoto and Masaru Matsuhashi sent off in the late stages.
In Saturday’s evening games, 10-man Kashima Antlers beat Jubilo Iwata 2-1 while FC Tokyo ran out comfortable 4-1 winners over JEF United Chiba at Ajinomoto Stadium. Ventforet Kofu host Kawasaki Frontale and Vissel Kobe entertain Omiya Ardija in Sunday’s other fixtures.
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