YOKOHAMA - Brazilian striker Marcos Junior scored the 82nd-minute winner, giving Yokohama F. Marinos a well-earned 2-1 victory over Kashima Antlers in the J. League first division on Sunday.
Despite controlling the ball for most of the game, F. Marinos trailed early and were thwarted by stout defending, poor luck in front of goal and a couple of calls that did not go their way.
Teruhito Nakagawa finally equalized in the 69th minute, and Marcos Junior put the hosts ahead 13 minutes later.
“I’m glad to have scored. We needed hard work and belief in ourselves, and that provided me with the one chance I was able to convert,” Marcos Junior said.
Left back Koki Anzai broke the ice in the 11th minute against the run of play after Kashima’s Leo Silva dispossessed a Marinos defender who was simply being careless with the ball in midfield.
With midfielder Ryohei Shirasaki looking for a target on the left, Anzai sprinted past the lone defender guarding his teammate. Shirasaki’s through pass was on the money and Anzai struck his shot hard on the ground past keeper Park Il-gyu.
After a first half in which maintaining most of the possession and taking most of the shots added up to zero on the scoreboard, the hosts continued their relentless attack after the break.
In a microcosm of play so far, Antlers keeper Kwoun Sun-tae caught a close-range shot but fumbled it back to an F. Marinos attacker, who then missed from point-blank range.
Antlers’ defense responded well to the constant pressure but were fortunate F. Marinos were not awarded a 52nd-minute penalty kick after a collision in front of the visitors’ goal.
Yokohama’s persistence finally paid off when a closely marked Nakagawa somehow launched a shot under pressure that got past a defender and rattled the net.
The hosts were again deprived when they were awarded a corner kick after a 72nd-minute shot caromed off the arm of a Kashima defender.
Marcos Junior put Yokohama ahead when he ran onto a long ball down the right, beat his marker and tapped in between Kwoun and the near post.
“They scored a goal, but I thought we were playing well,” Marinos manager Ange Postecoglou said. “We were great at creating chances in the first half, and I knew if we kept playing our football we would be rewarded.”
At Yurtec Stadium, Shun Nagasawa scored the winner in second-half stoppage time as Vegalta Sendai beat Gamba Osaka 2-1.
Diego Oliviera scored his seventh goal of the season, keeping him even with Consadole’s Anderson Lopes at the top of the scoring leaders’ table, in unbeaten FC Tokyo’s 2-0 win over promoted Matsumoto Yamaga.
Vissel Kobe lost its fourth straight, falling 2-1 at home to Kawasaki Frontale, the two-time defending league champion now unbeaten in five straight. Shonan Bellmare won 2-0 at last-place Sagan Tosu.
Anderson Lopes scored his seventh in Consadole Sapporo’s 2-1 win at Jubilo Iwata, while Nagoya Grampus beat Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1-0 to take over second place from them, behind leaders FC Tokyo. Urawa Reds kept a clean sheet for the third straight game, beating Shimizu S-Pulse 2-0.