• Kyodo

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Midfielder Kanya Fujimoto struck his maiden goal for Portuguese first-division club Gil Vicente on Tuesday, netting the opener in a 2-1 loss to league leaders Sporting Lisbon.

The 21-year-old, who moved from J. League second-division side Tokyo Verdy on loan last August, made his presence felt with a sharp goal in the 36th minute at Gil Vicente’s Estadio Cidade de Barcelos.

With the Sporting defense scrambling to hold off a counterattack, Fujimoto timed his run perfectly near the back post and volleyed home off a ball into the box from teammate Claude Goncalves.

Fujimoto headed to the bench in the 72nd minute with his side leading 1-0, but Sporting was able to snatch victory at the death after Uruguay defender Sebastian Coates scored in the 83rd minute and again in injury time.

Having made several appearances off the bench since his debut last October, former Japan youth international Fujimoto has started the past two matches for 14th-place Gil Vicente.

In the Spanish top flight, Real Madrid loanee Takefusa Kubo came off the bench for Getafe in the 55th minute against his home club, with Real winning 2-0 following goals from Karim Benzema and Ferland Mendy.

It was the 19-year-old Japan attacker’s first bench appearance for Getafe in about a month, having been a regular starter for manager Jose Bordalas since arriving from Villarreal in a move aimed at gaining more playing time.

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