Sapporo – Substitute Kai Shibato netted the winner in injury time as Urawa Reds came from behind to clinch a thriller against Consadole Sapporo 4-3 on Sunday in the J. League first division.
Urawa, who led 2-0 through a Kenyu Sugimoto brace, found themselves behind following two goals from 38-year-old Jay Bothroyd and a Sugimoto own goal before Tomoaki Makino tied the game with 15 minutes to go at Sapporo Dome.
Shibato rolled home the winner in the 94th minute after former Curacao international and fellow substitute Quenten Martinus found his way into the right side of the box before cutting back for the 24-year-old midfielder.
“Martinus gave me a good ball and I just had one thing on my mind,” said Shibato, who secured Urawa’s first win in three games as he broke a goal drought dating back to the 2018 season. “I wanted to give as much as I could coming on as a substitute.”
Urawa’s victory came despite the visitors being behind 25-8 in the shot count and taking just one corner to Consadole’s 15.
Sugimoto netted his first league goal of the season in the 13th minute from the spot after Thai star Chanathip Songkrasin brought down Takahiro Sekine from behind.
Sapporo were then caught napping in the 20th minute when Urawa’s Takuya Aoki launched a counter with a long ball from the back. With all Sapporo outfield players in the opposite half, Sugimoto had a free run on goal as he shrugged off a late challenge from Ryosuke Shindo and shot through the legs of keeper Takanori Sugeno.
But Urawa’s two-goal cushion quickly evaporated via the head of Bothroyd. He got his first in the 31st minute as he stretched his body to meet a Lucas Fernandes cross from the right and somehow squeezed in a looping header inside the far post for his team’s first goal in four games.
Bothroyd was denied an equalizer a minute later when his header from an Akito Fukumori corner hit the woodwork. But he quickly made up for it, scoring with a diving header in the 35th minute.
Neither side had a clear sight on goal until the 67th minute when Sugimoto glanced a header into his own net from a corner, with keeper Shusaku Nishikawa getting a touch but not enough to keep the ball out.
But Makino gave the visitors a lifeline after substitute Koya Yuruki’s cross from the left was half-cleared by Sugeno and dropped kindly for the Japan defender to tap in.
Sapporo’s Shunta Tanaka headed agonizingly over the bar from close range in the 90th minute before Shibato’s dramatic winner, leaving the home side without a win in nine games.
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