NAGASAKI – Thailand international Teerasil Dangda bagged his third J. League goal Saturday as first-place Sanfrecce Hiroshima brought streaking V-Varen Nagasaki back to earth in front of their home crowd.
The 2-0 loss at Transcosmos Stadium ended a four-game J1 winning streak that rocketed Nagasaki from bottom to mid-table in its first season in Japan’s top flight.
The result helped Sanfrecce protect their buffer at the top of the standings following their first league defeat of the season, a 3-1 midweek loss away to second-place FC Tokyo.
A halftime substitute, Teerasil opened the scoring in the 52nd minute when he converted a cross from fullback Takuya Wada directly in front of goal. Sho Sasaki doubled the lead six minutes later with a glancing header off a corner kick by Kosei Shibasaki.
Following a first half in which they created only two shots on goal despite having 65 percent of possession, Sanfrecce began opening up Nagasaki’s defense after forward Daiki Watari made way for Teerasil.
The 29-year-old center forward, on loan from Thai powerhouse Muangthong United since December, said Sanfrecce were determined to get back on track following their loss to FC Tokyo.
“It was a very important game, coming after a bad loss, so it was really good that we were able to get back on target right away with today’s game,” Watari said. “I thought I could score the winning goal, as I was getting great support play from my teammates. It felt like we were all on the same page out there.”
In other results Saturday, Shimizu S-Pulse beat visiting Kashiwa Reysol 2-1 in a match that saw all three goals scored in a four-minute period.
Reysol canceled out Chong Tese’s 38th-minute opener when Cristiano equalized with five minutes of first-half regulation left. Their joy was short-lived, however, with Koya Kitagawa slotting the winner a minute later.
At Yamaha Stadium, Jubilo Iwata drew 1-1 with visiting Cerezo Osaka. Kenyu Sugimoto equalized for the visitors from the penalty spot in the 56th minute after Kengo Kawamata’s opener gave Jubilo a 1-0 halftime lead.
At Saitama Stadium, the Urawa Reds dropped to two losses in two starts under new head coach Oswaldo Oliveira as Toshiki Ishikawa’s 30th-minute strike gave visiting Shonan Bellmare a 1-0 win.
At Noevir Stadium, reigning champion Kawasaki Frontale won 2-1 on the road thanks to Yu Kobayashi’s 88th-minute winner against 10-man Vissel Kobe.