OITA – Daiki Takamatsu scored twice to earn Oita Trinita a stay of execution with a stunning 2-1 home win over high-flying Shimizu S-Pulse on Sunday.
Needing all three points to avoid relegation with five games of the season still to play, Oita fell behind when Keisuke Iwashita headed in Akihiro Hyodo’s corner on 51 minutes at Kyushu Oil Dome.
However, Takamatsu leveled just before the hour mark and his header clinched victory 11 minutes from time, condemning S-Pulse to their first defeat in 14 matches in the process.
Oita, though, is still 14 points off the safety zone and in need of a minor miracle to escape the drop.
The result left S-Pulse two points behind leaders Kawasaki Frontale, who went top after beating Omiya Ardija 3-2 on Saturday.
In Sunday’s other game, JEF United Chiba conceded a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw at home to Kyoto Sanga.