• Kyodo

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Yokohama FC and Vegalta Sendai played out a 2-2 draw on Saturday in the J. League top flight as the two teams without a win this term remained at the foot of the table.

Visiting Vegalta would be more pleased with the result after coming back from two goals down at rainy Mitsuzawa Stadium, with both of the visitors’ goals coming off later corners. Takuma Nishimura halved the deficit with an 82nd-minute header before Kyohei Yoshino bundled home in stoppage time.

“It was a difficult game as we trailed by two goals, but we kept fighting without giving up and that allowed us to draw level,” defender Yoshino said.

“We can’t waste it… we were disappointing last season as well and will need to give more in training.”

Yokohama FC opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Yutaro Hakamada volleyed home a flicked corner. They doubled their lead through a 68th-minute Kosuke Saito header after Keijiro Ogawa provided an inch-perfect cross.

It was Yokohama FC’s first two-goal game this season, but their slack defense at set pieces cost them dearly.

“It’s frustrating to have to settle for a draw at the death,” Yokohama FC manager Tomonobu Hayakawa said after his second game in charge. “We were ahead on the scoresheet but became negative (mentally) and were playing more on the back foot.”

The J1 has 20 teams this term with the bottom four sides at the end of the season going straight down to the J2.

Vegalta is 19th with three draws and six defeats, while Yokohama FC is bottom with two draws and eight defeats.

Elsewhere, promoted Avispa Fukuoka secured a 1-0 home win over FC Tokyo through Bruno Mendes’ winner. Another promoted side, Tokushima Vortis, lost 1-0 against Kashima Antlers, with Koki Machida heading home the winner for the visitors.

Kashiwa Reysol won 1-0 at Oita Trinita with Ataru Esaka slotting home after a missed penalty, while Oita also missed a late penalty.

Vissel Kobe was held to a scoreless draw at Shonan Bellmare.

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