A big defensive play and a lucky goal made the difference for second-place Nagoya Grampus in their 1-0 win over Cerezo Osaka in the J. League’s first division on Saturday.
In a game that looked like it would go goalless, Cerezo was denied a tremendous chance when a missed 61st-minute header rolled into the space in front of the goal. Defender Shinnosuke Nakatani, however, pounced to clear the ball.
Five minutes later, fortune smiled again on the hosts at Toyota Stadium, when defender Yutaka Yoshida scored from what initially appeared to be an offside position — with no one between him and the goal but the keeper. The assistant referee saw that and raised his flag, but he was overruled as the through pass to Yoshida, playing in his 300th career game, had been touched by a defender.
Elsewhere, goals from Leandro Damiao and Kaoru Mitoma lifted league leaders Kawasaki Frontale to a 2-0 away win at Gamba Osaka.
At Tosu’s Ekimae Real Estate Stadium, third-place Sagan Tosu were held to a 0-0 draw by Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
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