Soccer

Mainz’s Muto bags first Europa League goal in win over Gabala

Kyodo

Japan forward Yoshinori Muto scored his first Europa League goal, helping Mainz beat Azerbaijan side Gabala in a 3-2, Group C thriller on Thursday.

In Baku, Muto put Mainz in the lead in the 41st minute with a left-footed shot into the bottom corner that shook the net at Bakcell Arena in the first Europa League victory for Martin Schmidt’s side.

The hosts responded with a goal each from Ruslan Kurbanov and Sergei Zenjov after the break to make it 2-1, but Jhon Cordoba equalized in the 68th minute, and Levin Oztunali struck the winner with 12 minutes remaining.

German magazine Kicker reported in its online edition that Muto, who came off six minutes from time, has sustained an injury that may put his participation in Japan’s next two World Cup qualifiers in jeopardy.