FUKUOKA – Jubilo Iwata secured its first win in the second stage by coming from behind to beat J. League bottom side Avispa Fukuoka 3-2 away in Wednesday’s only fixture.
Greek defender Avraam Papadopoulos provided the 69th-minute winner with a header for Jubilo, who went into the game with three draws and five defeats in the second stage.
Avispa remains at the foot of the overall standings, 10 points from safety with seven games to go after their fourth straight loss.
“We showed tenacity to get to the break 1-1 and a strong desire to win the game after going a goal down in the second half,” Jubilo manager Hiroshi Nanami said.
Jubilo got the opener through Adailton in the ninth minute after Hayao Kawabe’s long ball behind the defense was poorly cleared by Avispa left-back Masashi Kamekawa, who played two matches for Japan during the Rio Games. Adailton’s volley in the box was also mishit as the ball came down, but had enough on it to bounce into the net.
The Brazilian forward raced behind the Fukuoka defense again two minutes later but wasted a one-on-one with keeper Ryuichi Kamiyama, and Hisashi Jogo made the away team pay in the 16th minute.
The midfielder, who slid in and struck the foot of the left-hand post three minutes earlier, this time slid in at the far post to meet a perfect low cross from the left by Hirotaka Tameda.
Tameda then gave the hosts the lead on the hour in an end-to-end encounter, pouncing on Yuta Mikado’s right-foot effort from 20 yards, which was deflected into the midfielder’s path by Iwata keeper Krzysztof Kaminski.
But the joy was short-lived for Fukuoka, as Kamiyama conceded a soft equalizer three minutes later after inexplicably dropping a tame effort from Jay Bothroyd for Adailton to scramble home, before Papadopoulos’ glancing header three minutes later sealed the game after Bothroyd headed a free kick back into the mix.
“They showed the will to fight and all those who were watching them play will realize their desire to win,” said Avispa manager Masami Ihara, who saw defender Mizuki Hamada miss a free header from a corner two minutes from time.