• Kyodo


Striker Ken Tokura scored with a header in the dying minutes to give Consadole Sapporo a 2-1 comeback win against Kashiwa Reysol on Saturday.

As the home side pressed for a late winner at Sankyo Frontier Kashiwa Stadium, Consadole hit back on the break, with midfielder Koji Miyoshi fending off multiple defenders in the box before setting up Tokura’s 87th-minute goal.

Pinned down on the right side of the goal line, Miyoshi conjured his second assist of the afternoon by chipping a cross to the 187-cm forward lurking near the opposite post.

The visitors, who climbed to third in the J. League standings with the win, felt confident of a breakthrough despite going down a goal early, according to the 31-year-old Tokura.

“Although we didn’t play that well in the first half, and our passes weren’t quite on target, it definitely felt like we were going to create chances,” Tokura said. “The winning goal came about because we were prepared to fight for the full 90 minutes.”

Reysol opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Masaki Kamekawa struck from just inside the box, with his shot appearing to take a deflection on its way past Consadole ‘keeper Gu Sung-yun.

The visitors leveled the score four minutes later when Takumi Miyayoshi beat Reysol goalie Kazushige Kirihata with a long-range header after Miyoshi found him with a cross from the right wing.

Also Saturday, Cerezo Osaka moved into third place, one point ahead of Consadole, with a 1-0 victory over visiting FC Tokyo thanks to a 74th-minute goal from Toshiyuki Takagi.

V-Varen Nagasaki inched out of the relegation zone with a 3-0 win over last-place Gamba Osaka at Transcosmos Stadium Nagasaki. Keita Nakamura, Hijiri Onaga and Shogo Nakahara found the net for the home side.

The struggles continued for next-to-last Nagoya Grampus, which fell 2-0 on the road to Kashima Antlers on two goals from Mu Kanazaki.

At Yurtec Stadium, Vegalta Sendai played out a scoreless draw with visiting Kawasaki Frontale to stay in second place, ahead of Cerezo on goal difference.

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