Soccer

Keito Nakamura, FC Twente fend off late attack from Ritsu Doan's Groningen

Kyodo

Japanese forward Keito Nakamura scored for the second straight match to help FC Twente withstand a late goal from Ritsu Doan en route to a 3-1 away win over nine-man Groningen in the Dutch first division on Saturday.

After a first half featuring two Groningen red cards and missed penalties on both sides, Nakamura opened the scoring in the 55th minute at the Euroborg with a well-struck free kick. Aitor Cantalapiedra doubled the visitors’ lead with his second penalty attempt in the 70th.

Doan struck back for Groningen in the late second half, rifling a shot into the right corner past keeper Joel Drommel for the 21-year-old midfielder’s first goal of the season.

“It’s not much but with my goal I hope our supporters got their money’s worth,” Doan said.

FC Twente forward Haris Vuckic sealed the win in extra time.

Nakamura, who was sent on loan to FC Twente from J. League first-division club Gamba Osaka, scored on debut in the Enschede-based club’s 1-1 season-opening draw with PSV Eindhoven last week. The 19-year-old said he got a boost of confidence from his last two games.

“PSV are well-known champions. Groningen are getting more famous since Ritsu joined and also have a strong image. It’s a lot to get a win over an opponent like that,” Nakamura said.

Japanese defender Ko Itakura, on loan from Manchester City, also played a full match and made his first appearance at home for Groningen.

“I thought I played strong so it’s frustrating to lose,” Itakura said. “I hope I can steadily raise my game and show off good soccer.”

Elsewhere, forward Yuya Osako contributed a goal and an assist in Werder Bremen’s 6-1 rout over Atlas Delmenhorst in the first round of the German Cup.

In the Belgian top flight, forward Yuta Toyokawa scored his first goal of the season, equalizing in Eupen’s 1-1 draw at home with Waasland-Beveren.

“There weren’t many opportunities on the shooting front,” Toyokawa said. “Free kicks are one of my strong points so it was good to get the draw that way.”