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Kengo Kawamata strengthened his case for inclusion in Japan’s World Cup squad with a fabulous strike as Albirex Niigata knocked Kashima Antlers off the J. League summit with a 2-1 victory on Saturday.

Kawamata opened the scoring midway through the first half with a well-taken volley at Kashima Stadium. Shoma Doi leveled just after the half-hour but Niigata snatched all three points and extended its unbeaten streak to five matches when Takeshi Aoki put through his own net with 16 minutes left.

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