• Kyodo


Independiente became the third Argentine side to capture the Suruga Bank Championship on Wednesday with a 1-0 win over J. League first-division side Cerezo Osaka.

Playing for the second time in the game between the champions of South America’s Copa Sudamericana and Japan’s league cup, Independiente scored the game’s only goal in the 27th minute, when Silvio Romero took advantage of a defensive mix up in front of keeper Kenta Tanno’s goal at Yanmar Stadium Nagai.

A lucky through pass that two defenders failed to clear, fell to Romero. The Argentine deftly side-stepped a diving effort by Tanno to collect the ball and then fired into the empty net from close range.

Independiente previously played in the 2011 championship, when Jubilo Iwata were crowned champs on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

“We came out a bit tight in the first half but made adjustments as the game wore on,” said Daichi Akiyama, who skippered Cerezo in their first appearance. “It was a disappointment but a good experience nonetheless.”

Argentina’s previous victories came from Arsenal de Sarandi, in the inaugural 2008, and River Plate in 2015, with both wins coming against Gamba Osaka.

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