NAGOYA – Diego Oliveira and Yojiro Takahagi made the most of their second chances to score and lift league-leading FC Tokyo past Nagoya Grampus 2-1 on Friday night.
Although Grampus had the most of the possession in a steady rain at Paloma Mizuho Stadium, they were more than matched in the attack by FC Tokyo.
“Against a team that moves the ball around, an aggressive team like us have to resist the urge to play deeper, and we managed that,” said Takahagi, who scored in the 49th minute.
“We were away but we came here intent on three points, and I’m glad we could do that.”
Diego Oliveira opened the scoring in the 29th minute from the spot after he was brought down by defender Haruya Fujii. Goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak blocked the Brazilian’s shot with his feet, but the striker capitalized on his second chance, scoring on the rebound.
The visitors added their second after the break from open play when Takahagi also put back a blocked shot. Kensuke Nagai ran onto a through pass down the left touchline and crossed to Takahagi. Langerak fell as he blocked the shot and had no chance when Takahagi tipped the ball back for his first goal in two seasons.
“It’s been a real long time since I’ve been able to contribute to the team with a goal, but I’m so happy that my goal was a part of our victory,” Takahagi said.
The rain lifted in the second half, and the hosts pulled one back in the 83rd minute when a shot from Naoki Maeda squirted between keeper Akihiro Hayashi’s gloves.
The win lifted FC Tokyo to 52 points, seven clear of the second-place Kashima Antlers. Grampus are currently ninth.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5