SAITAMA – Substitute Yoshiyuki Takagi scored a late winner as the Urawa Reds edged Kashiwa Reysol 1-0 on Friday night.
Takagi took a pass from Tomoaki Makino, cut into the left side of the box and his shot took a horrible bounce off a divot in the turf in the six-yard box before going past Kashiwa goalkeeper Takanori Sugeno and into the back of the net.
Reds controlled much of the game but lacked a killer instinct and were nearly made to pay for a defensive mix-up with 16 minutes left, when Kashiwa striker Masato Kudo contrived to hit the post with the goal at his mercy.
But Takagi earned Reds maximum points with his 88th-minute effort to put Mihailo Petrovic’s side fourth in the second-stage table and top of the overall standings.
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