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Frontale stay afloat in Nabisco Cup

Kyodo

A brace from little-used Shohei Otsuka just kept Kawasaki alive in the Nabisco Cup as Frontale defeated Group B leaders Vegalta Sendai 2-1 on Wednesday.

Otsuka opened the scoring in the 43rd minute before doubling Kawasaki’s lead early in the second half. Substitute Ramon Lopes converted a penalty with five minutes remaining, but goalkeeper Shunsuke Ando denied the Brazilian a second in the 89th minute, handing Kawasaki all three points.

Frontale, who moved level on points with Vegalta on eight, are the first team in the group to finish the first round. The six others complete the group phase on June 5.

Also in Group B, Albirex Niigata and Yokohama F. Marinos fought to a 1-1 draw, as did Avispa and Sagan Tosu in Fukuoka.

Vissel Kobe overtook idle Omiya Ardija at the top of Group A with a 4-0 home win over Nagoya Grampus. Ventforet Kofu beat Shonan Bellmare 1-0 at home, while Antlers and Jubilo Iwata drew 1-1 in Kashima.