Soccer

Shoya Nakajima nets brace in Portimonense victory

Kyodo

Midfielder Shoya Nakajima continued his strong run of form by scoring twice for Portimonense in a 4-2 win over Sporting CP in the Portuguese first division on Sunday.

The 24-year-old playmaker assisted on teammate Wilson Manafa’s 30th-minute opener before finding the net himself 14 minutes later.

With Portimonense attacking on the break, Manafa played a short ball inside the box to Nakajima, who struck from five meters to the left of the penalty spot.

Sporting forward Fredy Montero cut the lead to a single goal in the 63rd minute, but Nakajima restored the margin 19 minutes later, corralling an attempted clearance from a corner kick and firing from a meter outside the box.

With two minutes remaining, Sebastian Coates headed home on a cross from Nani to keep Sporting alive, but substitute Joao Carlos snuffed out their hopes with a runaway goal in injury time.

The win leaves Portimonense 13th in the Primeira Liga with two wins, a draw and four losses.

The brace brings Nakajima’s goal tally for the season to four. He opened his account with another two-goal outing in a 3-2 win over Vitoria on Sept. 23.

A somewhat controversial omission from Akira Nishino’s squad for this year’s World Cup in Russia, Nakajima was a standout in Japan’s first match under new manager Hajime Moriyasu, a 3-0 friendly win over Costa Rica on Sept. 11.

He has been named in Moriyasu’s squad for Japan’s upcoming friendlies against Panama on Oct. 12 and Uruguay four days later.