Japan forward Ado Onaiwu scored as second-place Yokohama F. Marinos claimed their sixth straight win in the J. League first division on Saturday, beating Avispa Fukuoka 2-0 at home.
Yokohama, who lost manager Ange Postecoglou to Scottish giant Celtic in June, has now won four in a row under interim manager Hideki Matsunaga and sits nine points behind unbeaten leaders and reigning champion Kawasaki Frontale, with a game in hand.
Jun Amano’s fast cross with his weaker right foot had Avispa keeper Masaaki Murakami punching the ball straight at Tatsuki Nara in the 22nd minute for an own goal before Onaiwu added the second six minutes later.
Elber had plenty of time again down the right flank and sent a perfect ball to head home for Onaiwu, who scored a hat trick in his first start for Japan’s senior team on June 15 against Kyrgyzstan.
“I got into a good position, and Elber gave me a good ball too. I just had to hit it to the other side (of the keeper),” said Onaiwu after his 12th goal of the season. “There were other chances too, and I need to up my quality.”
Onaiwu had close-range efforts saved in quick succession seven minutes after the break, and an inspired Murakami denied Kota Watanabe in the 78th minute as the home side dominated at Nippatsu Mitsuzawa Stadium.
Fukuoka, who had six straight wins between April and May, had a lively effort from Takeshi Kanamori, while captain Hiroyuki Mae clipped the post with his late effort from the edge of the box. But it wasn’t enough to prevent the promoted side from falling to their fourth straight defeat.
Vegalta Sendai secured a 1-1 home draw against Consadole Sapporo, while Oita Trinita won for the first time in five games as Yamato Machida’s 12th-minute header handed them a 1-0 home win over Urawa Reds.
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