FUKUROI, SHIZUOKA PREF. – Shinzo Koroki’s 79th-minute equalizer salvaged a point for Urawa Reds in a 1-1 draw at Jubilo Iwata in the J. League first division on Sunday.
Jubilo opened the scoring in the 21st minute at Ecopa Stadium when Fozil Musaev headed in a ball that Japan goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa deflected to him after a Shunsuke Nakamura free kick.
Both teams went in search of the next goal, with Reds having the best chance in the 32nd minute, when Jubilo keeper Krysztof Kaminski pulled off an excellent save on a header from Shinya Yajima.
The hosts began to defend in depth in the second half, conceding most of the possession to Reds but little space in their half. But after the hour, Jubilo began getting more and more adventurous on the break and that proved costly.
Takuya Aoki got in the way of a misdirected pass, and instantly found Koroki loitering near the top of the “D.” A burst of speed got him past the last defender and under the pass, which he headed past a frustrated Kaminski.
“That was simply a great ball from Aoki,” Koroki said after scoring in his fourth straight game.
“He supplied me with several and they didn’t work out, but that last one was a beauty and all I did was put a touch on it.
“I’m not the kind of player who’s creating those goals, and for the most part, I’m looking to link up with my teammates. It’s all about working together.”
The goal put Iwata back on the offensive, and Nishikawa was forced to make a good save on 90 minutes from substitute Takuya Matsuura.
“We did let them dictate the pace for the most part and looked for our chances,” Jubilo head coach Hiroshi Nanami said. “We had our moments, but we could have had better timing and maintained more possession.
“Still, having one win and one draw against a team like Urawa is something.”
Jubilo remain sixth in the league on 43 points, with Urawa three points back in the eighth.