Shizuoka – Yokohama FC edged Shimizu S-Pulse 3-2 for a milestone win on Saturday, with 19-year-old dynamo Koki Saito opening the scoring before Yusuke Minagawa and Yusuke Matsuo added goals either side of halftime.
Shota Kaneko and Ryo Takeuchi found the net for S-Pulse, who traded blows until the final moments of an entertaining J. League first-division clash at IAI Stadium.
With their fourth win of the season, and third in a row, Yokohama FC have matched the win total from their only previous J1 campaign in 2007.
“Every additional win from now becomes a part of history. We can feel the significance of it,” said 23-year-old midfielder Matsuo, who scored an outstanding solo goal early in the second half.
The visitors took the lead in the 25th minute when Japan under-20 forward Saito struck for the third time this season, beating Shimizu keeper Togo Umeda from long range after his shot took a deflection off defender Hwang Seok Ho.
Peter Cklamovski’s side hit back in the 44th minute after midfielder Renato Augusto won possession in attacking territory and sent a through ball for Kaneko to score from the right of the area.
But Takahiro Shimotaira’s team went quickly back in front when Minagawa scored with a diving header off a cross from right back Maguinho in first-half stoppage time.
Matsuo doubled the advantage on a 50th-minute counterattack, dribbling from halfway and cutting into the box from the left before angling his shot past Umeda.
“I was able to score on the counter, but the goal resulted from our tight marking in the middle,” Matsuo said.
Takeuchi added a second for S-Pulse in injury time, driving a low strike into the bottom left corner after the visitors failed to clear a corner kick.
Yokohama FC’s first three-game J1 winning streak in club history helped the promoted side climb to 10th in the standings.
S-Pulse, meanwhile, remains stuck in 16th place with just two wins under first-year manager Cklamovski.