ZWOLLE, NETHERLANDS – Defender Yuta Nakayama netted the winner in PEC Zwolle’s 1-0 win over Groningen in the Dutch top flight on Saturday.
Nakayama broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute at MAC3Park Stadion, nailing a header off a corner kick for his second goal of the season.
“I think it is true anywhere in the world that set-pieces make a difference in tight matches,” Nakayama said.
The 22-year-old center back, who joined Zwolle in January 2019, scored his first goal in the team’s 3-3 draw with Utrecht last month.
“I’m glad that my goal ended up being the winner, unlike the last time I scored,” said Nakayama, winner of the J. League’s Best Young Player award with Kashima Reysol in 2017.
“We’ve also held our opponents scoreless for two games in a row, so I’m really optimistic.”
In the German second division, Japanese forward Genki Haraguchi found the net in the 83rd minute of Hannover’s 2-2 draw against Wehen Wiesbaden.
Haraguchi netted the equalizer after Wiesbaden striker Stefan Aigner opened the scoring in the 37th minute. Each team scored a further late goal to finish level at HDI Arena.