• Kyodo


Yokohama F. Marinos eased past struggling Avispa Fukuoka 3-0 to make it two wins out of two in the J. League second stage on Saturday night.

Manabu Saito opened the scoring with a trademark strike late in the first half, before Cayman Togashi stood his ground to add the second shortly after the interval. Substitute Sho Ito’s stoppage-time strike wrapped up Marinos’ second straight 3-0 victory.

Along with Yokohama, which won just twice at home in the first stage and finished 11th in the table, local rival Kawasaki Frontale, Gamba Osaka and Urawa Reds all have maximum points.

Fukuoka bossed the opening exchanges on a rain-slick surface at Nissan Stadium, but Masami Ihara’s men were left wanting in the final third of the pitch, Takeshi Kanamori screwing harmlessly wide on nine minutes after a surging run.

Marinos, on the other hand, hardly made it out of their own half and their first effort on target did not arrive until the 23rd minute, Fukuoka goalkeeper Lee Bum-young getting down well to beat away a fierce effort from Martinus.

Lee was again on hand to turn behind a free kick from Kayke but he could do nothing to prevent the lively Saito from opening the scoring seven minutes before halftime.

The former Japan international raced onto a pass from Togashi and left Kim Hyun-hun in his wake before cutting in from the left to sweep into the bottom right-hand corner.

Togashi put the home side in control with the second, three minutes after the break, taking a pass from Kosuke Nakamachi and holding off Shunsuke Tsutsumi and Masashi Kamekawa before sliding the ball past Lee and into the left-hand corner.

Saito had a chance to net his second of the game with 16 minutes left, but could not keep his shot on target. But he atoned for that miss by setting up Ito to rifle home first time and complete the scoring in the 93rd minute.

In other games, goals from Yu Kobayashi, Yoshito Okubo and Kengo Nakamura saw Kawasaki win 3-0 win at Nagoya Grampus.

Patric opened his account for the season with a brace to help keep Gamba perfect with a 3-1 win at home to Vegalta Sendai, and Urawa beat Kashiwa Reysol 2-0 thanks to goals in each half from captain Yuki Abe and Tadanari Lee.

First-stage winner Kashima Antlers rebounded from last weekend’s defeat at home to Gamba, Atsutaka Nakamura capping a 4-2 win over defending champion Sanfrecce Hiroshima at Big Arch.

Masato Morishige earned FC Tokyo a 1-0 win at home to Ventforet Kofu, while Shonan Bellmare won by the same scoreline behind Andre Bahia’s first-half goal at Albirex Niigata.

Omiya Ardija drew 1-1 at Jubilo Iwata, and Vissel Kobe and Sagan Tosu shared a 2-2 draw.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.