Kawasaki – Leandro Damiao scored two goals for the second straight game as J. League champions Kawasaki Frontale remained perfect after four rounds with a 2-0 win over promoted Tokushima Vortis on Wednesday.
Damiao exploited Vortis’ defenders in the 12th minute, forcing a bad pass that Kaoru Mitoma intercepted as Damiao moved into the area. Mitoma found the Brazilian in space with a through pass and Damiao fired across the face of the goal to score just inside the far post for his third goal of the year.
“We did that a lot last year, too,”Damiao said. “Our style is to push forward aggressively and with good work from Kaoru, that paid off again.”
Vortis came close to equalizing on a counter just before the half but instead found themselves trailing 2-0 due to slack defending at the back. As keeper Naoto Kamifukumoto and two defenders tried to work the ball out of Vortis’ half, defender Takashi Abe took his eye off the Brazilian for a second too long.
While Abe was focused on where to pass, Damiao cut in front of him, stole the ball and scored from well outside the area with Kamifukumoto out of position.
Frontale lead the J1 with 12 points, followed by Sagan Tosu and Nagoya Grampus, which both have nine from three games.
On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, northeastern Japan’s only first division team, Vegalta Sendai, was unable to bring a spark of joy to its fans, losing 5-0 at surprising Sagan, who have yet to concede a goal this season.
At Saitama Stadium, evergreen forward Kazuyoshi “King Kazu” Miura extended his record as the oldest player in a J. League first-division game. He took the pitch for Yokohama FC in the 93rd minute of a 2-0 loss to Urawa Reds at the age of 54 years, 12 days.
Grampus won 1-0 at Kashiwa Reysol, while a Ryotaro Araki brace powered Kashima Antlers to a 3-1 home win over Shonan Bellmare. Yokohama .F Marinos also won 3-1 at promoted Avispa Fukuoka.
At Tokyo’s Ajinomoto Stadium, Vissel Kobe’s Yuta Goke scored the 85th-minute winner after the visitors squandered a 2-0 lead following Douglas’ first two goals of the season.
Hiroshi Kiyotake’s 84th-minute winner lifted Cerezo Osaka past Shimizu S-Pulse 2-1 at Osaka’s Yanmar Stadium, while Sanfrecce Hiroshima won at home by the same score over Consadole Sapporo.
Gamba Osaka’s match against Oita Trinita was called off, the third straight game Gamba have been forced to scrap due to coronavirus infections in the club.
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