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Morimoto’s 90th-minute goal gives Frontale draw with Ventforet

Kyodo

Substitue Takayuki Morimoto equalized in the 90th minute to bail out Kawasaki Frontale with a 2-2 draw away to Ventforet Kofu on Sunday.

With the J. League going into the international break, 15th-place Kofu had a surprising 2-1 lead with the clock ticking away at Yamanashi Chuo Bank Stadium, thanks to goals from substitute Lins on 70 minutes and Dudu four minutes later.

But Morimoto, who came on for Akihiro Ienaga in the 77th minute, spared Kawasaki’s blushes with a header from an Eduardo Neto cross in the final minute of regulation as the visitors escaped with a point.

Yu Kobayashi had opened the scoring from the spot for the visitors in the 35th minute, when Ienaga was hauled down in the box by Eder Lima, winning a penalty.

Ventforet collected a crucial point to their J1 survival that kept them out of the drop zone, ahead of 16th-place Omiya Ardija by a single point.

Frontale had won their last three meetings, but Sunday’s draw set Toru Oniki’s men back six points behind leaders Kashima Antlers.

In another J1 game, Urawa Reds, Kawasaki’s opponents in the Asian Champions League quarterfinals, came from behind to win 2-1 at Shimizu S-Pulse.

Rafael Silva’s 70th-minute winner handed Urawa its third consecutive league victory, six minutes after Wataru Endo canceled out Makoto Kakuda’s opener on the half-hour.

Reds improved to 39 points from 24 games, but still 13 points off the pace of Kashima. Shimizu’s second straight defeat left it only five points above the relegation zone.