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Yuki Muto’s second-half goal lifts Urawa Reds past Yokohama F. Marinos

Kyodo

Forward Yuki Muto’s 79th-minute goal secured Urawa Reds a 2-1 away win against Yokohama F. Marinos in the J. League on Sunday.

The three points from the day’s only match in the first division lifted Urawa to ninth in the table, while Marinos stand in 14th out of 18 teams.

The win at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama was Urawa’s first in the league in a month, following a draw with Shimizu S-Pulse and defeats to Nagoya Grampus and Cerezo Osaka.

Tomoya Ugajin scored the opener right before halftime to break the deadlock and give Urawa the lead. Muto’s free kick was deflected outside the penalty area into the path of Ugajin, who fired home his second goal of the season.

Urawa goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa, who made a number of superb saves in the first half, was unable to block Portuguese substitute Hugo Vieira’s effort in the 69th minute. Keita Endo crossed to his right, and Vieira beat a defender and slotted into an empty net.

Muto scored the winner 10 minutes later when he controlled a pass from midfielder Takuya Aoki and drove it home before goalkeeper Hiroki Iikura could react.

With Urawa manager Oswaldo Oliveira serving out the remainder of his two-match suspension, it was up to assistant coach Tsuyoshi Otsuki to lead the side to their first win since Aug. 15.

“It was a tight game and there were times we were pushed back in the second half, but it was good that the players scored two goals in a way we worked on during training,” Otsuki said.

Marinos had more than 60 percent of possession but lacked a finishing touch and failed to capitalize on the opportunities they created.

“It’s a game we should have won. We had chances, we should have scored goals,” said head coach Ange Postecoglou, the former Australia boss who has struggled in his debut season in Japan.

“We just have to keep playing our football and take our chances. That’s the game of football, and we’ll just keep going.”