J.League Division 2: Matchday Eleven Table

Home Away
Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Shonan Bellmare 11 5 0 1 13 7 3 1 1 11 8 +9 25
2 Montedio Yamagata 11 4 1 0 8 4 4 0 2 8 6 +6 25
3 Ventforet Kofu 11 3 2 1 8 6 3 1 1 8 3 +7 21
4 Mito HollyHock 11 4 1 1 6 3 2 2 1 6 3 +6 21
5 Oita Trinita 11 2 2 1 4 3 4 0 2 12 7 +6 20
6 Tokyo Verdy 11 3 0 3 8 7 3 1 1 9 4 +6 19
7 Kyoto Sanga 11 5 0 1 11 5 1 1 3 4 6 +4 19
8 Fagiano Okayama 11 4 1 1 8 6 1 3 1 2 2 +2 19
9 Ehime FC 11 4 2 0 12 4 1 1 3 5 5 +8 18
10 JEF United Chiba 11 3 2 0 9 1 2 1 3 4 6 +6 18
11 Giravanz Kitakyushu 11 2 1 3 4 5 3 0 2 7 5 +1 16
12 Avispa Fukuoka 11 2 2 1 8 5 2 1 3 11 11 +3 15
13 Tochigi SC 11 2 2 2 5 6 2 1 2 7 5 +1 15
14 Matsumoto Yamaga 11 2 1 2 3 5 2 1 3 4 6 -4 14
15 Thespa Kusatsu 11 1 2 2 3 6 2 1 3 6 8 -5 12
16 FC Machida Zelvia 11 1 0 4 2 7 2 1 3 9 9 -5 10
17 Roasso Kumamoto 11 2 2 1 8 7 0 2 4 1 7 -5 10
18 Kataller Toyama 11 1 0 4 7 12 1 3 2 5 4 -4 9
19 Yokohama FC 11 1 2 3 5 9 1 1 3 6 9 -7 9
20 Tokushima Vortis 11 1 0 4 4 9 1 2 3 3 8 -10 8
21 Gainare Tottori 11 1 1 3 4 10 1 1 4 4 11 -13 8
22 FC Gifu 11 1 2 3 3 7 0 1 4 2 10 -12 6
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J.League Division 2: Matchday Eleven Results

Mito HollyHock
Kato 37′
Nishioka 89′
2 Tokushima Vortis
Tokushige 90’+2
1
Tochigi SC 0 Gainare Tottori
Ozaki 90’+3
1
Yokohama FC Small Yokohama FC
Okubo 67′, 82′
2 FC Machida Zelvia
T Suzuki 33′, 55′, 72′
Hiramoto 44′
4
Oita Trinita 0 Roasso Kumamoto 0
Ehime FC
Arita 27′
Maeno 38′
2 Shonan Bellmare
Ono 83′
1
Matsumoto Yamaga 0 Kyoto Sanga 0
Giravanz Kitakyushu
Watari 9′
1 JEF United Chiba
Ito 33′
Milligan 63′
2
Ventforet Kofu
Davi 47′
1 Avispa Fukuoka
Sakata 34′
1
Kataller Toyama
Kokeguchi 68′
1 FC Gifu 0
Fagiano Okayama
Kim 27′
Sekido 43′
2 Thespa Kusatsu
Lincoln 30′
1
Tokyo Verdy 0 Montedio Yamagata
Bandai 41′
Nakashima 69′
2

(Matches played 30 April 2012)

アルビレックス新潟 (Albirex Niigata) 0 ベガルタ仙台 (Vegalta Sendai) 1

(Clockwise from Top-Left) Daisuke Suzuki is harshly adjudged to have felled Vegalta Sendai forward Wilson in the penalty area, who duly stepped up to convert the spot kick and score the only goal of the J.League Division 1 fixture

Vegalta Sendai sustained their remarkable sequence of results with a combative performance at the Tohoku Denryoku Big Swan Stadium, but they have referee Futoshi Nakamura to thank for the very dubious decision to award a penalty which culminated in Wilson scoring the solitary goal of the contest, a ruling which was bitterly opposed by a number of players, most notably Bruno Lopes who was sent off in the aftermath. The repercussions of Lopes’s furious and sarcastic outburst towards Nakamura may yet be felt more strongly by Albirex, with an automatic one-match ban triggered by his two yellow cards at risk of being extended should the incident feature in the official’s match report.

The scoreline poorly reflected the balance of the match, Albi’s performance being wholly at odds with their recent exploits and one which belied their position in the Division 1 table, and until the 89th minute an impressive and dominant midfield led by Issao Homma and Naoya Kikuchi and a sound defence had contained a Vegalta attack that had previously scored an average of three goals per game. While the statistics of the match may try to convince otherwise, the home side recording just four shots compared to the nine for the visitors over the course of the ninety minutes, Albi may rue squandering a couple of excellent opportunities in the match which could have determined a happier outcome and sent a very vocal crowd home in good spirits.

After only six minutes had been played, Albirex were left to question another of Nakamura’s decisions, when Naoki Ishikawa had volleyed high into the Vegalta net and seemingly given his side the lead. Atomu Tanaka curled a free-kick from the left touchline, flicked on to the edge of the six-yard area by the excellent Kisho Yano, and as Ju-Sung Park failed to gain any distance on his diving clearance, Ishikawa controlled before swivelling and found the top right hand corner with his shot. However, after a period of consultation with his assistant, Daisuke Suzuki would be rightly deemed offside, clearly interfering with an opponent by obstructing goalkeeper Takuto Hayashi’s line of vision.

Twelve minutes had been played when Michael dispossessed Shingto Tomita twenty yards inside the Vegalta half, Isao Homma picking up the loose ball and turning to play a long pass to Yano on the right-hand side. Yano’s low cross into the penalty area was well-directed, flighted just inside the six-yard box, but Bruno Lopes tumbled to try and earn his side a penalty when he would have been better advised to attempt a header.

From the resulting corner, a Homma effort from 25 yards was blocked, but from the ensuing rebound a very narrowly offside Yano found the assistant referee’s flag raised, his shot blocked by Masaaki Higashiguchi but which fell to Bruno Lopes with an open goal at his mercy. Albirex had clearly identified a weakness in the Vegalta defence, who frequently struggled to deal with corners swung to the near post, together with the clever movement of Yano, Tanaka, Michael and Bruno Lopes. While chances were at a premium in both periods, a Tanaka corner shortly before the interval again delivered to the edge of the six-yard box was glanced goalwards by Yano, where more forceful contact may well have seen Higashiguchi beaten.

The half ended with Albirex in control of the match, if not the scoreline, and the second period began in the same manner, despite the early appearance of Vegalta in the tunnel, doubtless with a stinging rebuke from Makoto Teguramori ringing in their ears. It was nearly the third quarter of the match before Vegalta fashioned something akin to an opening. Yoshiaki Ota, the outstanding performer for the away team by some distance, dropped a long free-kick to the far post which Makota Kakuda directed across goal. Atsushi Yanagisawa, replacing the injured Shingo Akamine, couldn’t find the barest of headed touches which would have opened the scoring, marginally too slow to adjust to the strength of Kakuda’s pull-back. Then, with a quarter of an hour left to play, a long pass out of defence was collected by Wilson just over halfway, and he turned inside Ishikawa before arcing the ball through to substitute Toshihiro Matsushita on the overlap. A delicate, hanging cross to the back post was attacked by Ota, but he could only find the side-netting.

Sixty seconds later, and Albi could have taken the lead. An attempted Taikai Uemoto cross-field pass was dreadfully misplaced, Bruno Lopes pouncing on a ball intended for Ju-Sung Park on halfway. Lopes drove at the defender, carrying the ball to the edge of the penalty area before cutting inside and lashing a left-footed shot narrowly wide of Higashiguchi’s right upright, when a short pass to Michael may have been a better option.

The final word of this match would be left to Wilson, who had largely cut a disinterested and anonymous figure for duration of the game. A dinked Matsushita ball into the penalty area was first headed upwards by the Brazilian forward before he collapsed to the floor, leaving a bewildered Daisuke Suzuki to protest his innocence, before referee Nakamura added insult to injury by showing the centre-back a yellow card. Wilson stepped up to fire home, the ball sent into the bottom right-hand corner, Higashiguchi diving incorrectly to his right.

Albirex boss Hisashi Kurosaki can certainly take some satisfaction from the performance, if not the outcome, and should they continue to show the same spirit, determination and organisation in the weeks ahead, there is no reason why they should not find themselves clear of a relegation battle at the end of the 2012 season. Vegalta, meanwhile, stretched their lead at the top of the table to six points from closest challengers Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Urawa Red Diamonds, as they head into a tough test of their title credentials on Matchday Nine, away to a Sagan Tosu side unbeaten at the Best Amenity Stadium in any competition in 2012.

Albirex Niigata Vegalta Sendai
Goalscorers Min Goalscorers Min
Wilson 89 (Pen.)
Substitutes Min Substitutes Min
Jun Uchida
Yusuke Murakami
78 Atsushi Yanagisawa
Toshihiro Matsushita
72
Atomu Tanaka
Alan Mineiro
88 Yoshiaki Ota
Yuki Muto
81
Naoya Kikuchi
Shoki Hirai
90 Wilson
Takayuki Nakahara
90+2
Cautions Min Cautions Min
Kisho Yano 45+1 Ju-Sung Park 44
Bruno Lopes 63
Naoya Kikuchi 67
Daisuke Suzuki 88
Isao Homma 88
Masaaki Higashiguchi 88
Bruno Lopes 90
Sent Off Min Sent Off Min
Bruno Lopes 90
20120429-235018.jpg

Albirex Niigata: 4-2-3-1 (Yellow); Vegalta Sendai: 4-4-1-1 (Grey)

J.League Division 2: Matchday Eleven Fixtures

(After a goalmouth scramble, Atsushi Ichimura snatches a late winner for Roasso Kumamoto as they defeat Oita Trinita 2-1 at the KKWing Stadium on Matchday 24 of the 2011 season. Roasso travel to the Oita Bank Stadium on Monday with eleven places separating the two sides, high-flying Trinita currently lying in fifth and just one point behind third position)

J.League Division 2, 30 April

Kick-off (JST) Home vs Away Venue
13:00 Mito HollyHock vs Tokushima Vortis K’s denki Stadium Mito
13:00 Tochigi SC vs Gainare Tottori Tochigi Green Stadium
13:00 Yokohama FC vs FC Machida Zelvia NHK Mitsuzawa Football Stadium
13:00 Oita Trinita vs Roasso Kumamoto Oita Bank Stadium
14:00 Ehime FC vs Shonan Bellmare Ningineer Stadium
15:00 Matsumoto Yamaga vs Kyoto Sanga Matsumoto Park Stadium (Alwin)
15:00 Giravanz Kitakyushu vs JEF United Chiba Honjo Stadium
16:00 Ventforet Kofu vs Avispa Fukuoka Yamanashi Chuo Bank Stadium
16:00 Kataller Toyama vs FC Gifu Toyama Athletic Stadium
16:00 Fagiano Okayama vs Thespa Kusatsu Kanko Stadium
17:00 Tokyo Verdy vs Montedio Yamagata Ajinomoto Stadium

J.League Division 1: Matchday Eight Table

Home Away
Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Vegalta Sendai 8 3 1 0 11 3 4 0 0 8 3 +13 22
2 Sanfrecce Hiroshima 8 3 1 0 8 2 2 0 2 6 4 +8 16
3 Urawa Red Diamonds 8 2 1 0 4 1 3 0 2 7 6 +4 16
4 Shimizu S-Pulse 8 3 0 0 6 3 2 0 3 4 6 +1 15
5 Sagan Tosu 8 4 1 0 6 0 0 1 2 2 4 +4 14
6 Nagoya Grampus 8 4 0 1 8 4 0 2 1 4 5 +3 14
7 Jubilo Iwata 8 3 0 0 4 1 1 2 2 8 9 +2 14
8 Cerezo Osaka 8 2 0 2 6 6 2 1 1 6 3 +3 13
9 FC Tokyo 8 1 0 3 4 6 3 0 1 4 4 -2 12
10 Omiya Ardija 8 2 1 2 5 6 1 1 1 4 6 -3 11
11 Kashima Antlers 8 2 0 2 9 6 1 1 2 2 4 +1 10
12 Kawasaki Frontale 8 1 0 3 2 6 2 1 1 7 6 -3 10
13 Vissel Kobe 8 2 0 2 5 5 1 0 3 4 10 -6 9
14 Kashiwa Reysol 8 1 2 1 8 8 1 0 3 3 5 -2 8
15 Yokohama F-Marinos 8 1 2 1 4 4 0 2 2 3 5 -2 7
16 Gamba Osaka 8 2 0 2 9 8 0 1 3 3 12 -8 7
17 Albirex Niigata 8 0 2 2 2 4 1 0 3 2 4 -4 5
18 Consadole Sapporo 8 0 1 3 3 7 0 0 4 3 8 -9 1

J.League Division 1: Matchday Eight Results

FC Tokyo Small FC Tokyo
0 Shimizu S-Pulse Small Shimizu S-Pulse
Takagi 77′
1
Nagoya Grampus Small Nagoya Grampus
Kanazaki 27′
1 Urawa Red Diamonds Small Urawa Red Diamonds
Marcio Richardes 23′, 68′
2
Kashiwa Reysol Small Kashiwa Reysol
Kitajima 45’+1
1 Sagan Tosu Small Sagan Tosu
Kobayashi 70′
1
Kawasaki Frontale Small Kawasaki Frontale
Ito 33′
1 Sanfrecce Hiroshima Small Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Yamagishi 15′
Ishihara 38′
Sato 47, 78′
4
Kashima Antlers small Kashima Antlers
Endo 42′
Koroki 53′
Osako 71, 90’+3
Motoyama 89′
5 Gamba Osaka Small Gamba Osaka
0
Omiya Ardija Small Omiya Ardija
Carlinhos 10′
Aoki 71′
2 Consadole Sapporo Small Consadole Sapporo
Takaki 45’+1
1
Yokohama F-Marinos Small Yokohama F-Marinos
Ono 71′
Taniguchi 73′
Matsumoto 77′
3 Vissel Kobe Small Vissel Kobe
Oya 57′
1
Albirex Niigata Small Albirex Niigata
0 Vegalta Sendai Small Vegalta Sendai
Wilson 89′
1
Cerezo Osaka Small Cerezo Osaka
Kiyotake 20′
Ogihara 47′
B-K Kim 83′
3 Jubilo Iwata Small Jubilo Iwata
Maeda 87′
Cho B-K 90’+2
2

(Matches played 28 April 2012)

J.League Division 1: Matchday Eight live-blog – アルビレックス新潟 (Albirex Niigata) v. ベガルタ仙台 (Vegalta Sendai)

0 Min: Hello, and thank you for joining me for today’s live-blog in which I’ll be covering the J.League Division 1 fixture featuring hosts Albirex Niigata and Vegalta Sendai. I’ll have team news for you in just a moment.

0 Min: Albirex Niigata – Higashiguchi; Uchida, Suzuki, Ishikawa, J-S Kim; Homma, Kikuchi, Tanaka; Yano, Michael, Bruno Lopes

0 Min: Substitutes – Ozawa; Oi, Murakami; Mikado, Alan Mineiro, Koyano; Hirai

0 Min: Vegalta Sendai – Hayashi; Tamura, Kamata, Uemoto, Park; Tomita, Kakuda, Ota, Sekiguchi; Yanagisawa, Wilson

0 Min: Substitutes – Sakurai; Uchiyama, Harada; Matsushita, Ryang; Muto, Nakahara

0 Min: Two changes to note for Vegalta from the side that comprehensively defeated FC Tokyo 4-0 on Matchday Seven. In come Naoya Tamura and Atsushi Yanagisawa, who replace the injured Naoki Sugai and Shingo Akamine respectively.

0 Min: There are three changes for the home side which lost 1-0 away to Sagan Tosu, Naoya Kikuchi in for Yuta Mikado, Atomu Tanaka replacing Alan Mineiro and Kisho Yano starts instead of Shoki Hirai.

0 Min: It’s a warm and bright afternoon in Niigata, 22 degrees and low humidity, perfect conditions for a game of football at the Niigata Stadium Big Swan.

1 Min: And at precisely 08:04 BST/16:04 JST, we’ve kicked-off, Vegalta Sendai commencing proceedings.

3 Mins: Vegalta very quick to snap into tackles and close down any Albirex possession, and the ball is staying predominantly in Albi territory.

4 Mins: Naoya Tamura concedes a needless free-kick in a dangerous area to the right of the penalty area. Can Albirex capitalise?

6 Mins: GOAL DISALLOWED Tamura’s infringement very nearly leads to the opening goal of the game. The free-kick is bent in by Tanaka, and is flicked on by Kisho Yano before being half-cleared by Joo-Sung Park. It falls to Naoki Ishikawa in the penalty area. He controls and thumps a volley beyond Takuto Hayashi. Hayashi appeals for offside, complaining of a player directly interfering with his view of the ball, and after a period of consultation between the referee and his assistant, the goal is ruled out.

6 Mins: Albirex Niigata 0 Vegalta Sendai

12 Mins: While the goal was ruled out, they appear to have settled and it is a strong period of pressure for Albi. Kisho Yano is found on the right-wing, but as he directs a ball across the penalty area Bruno Lopes’s tumble in the penalty area is ignored in favour of a corner, to be taken by Atomu Tanaka. His cross is again to the near post, but this time it’s cleared for a throw-in.

12 Mins: Another let-off for Vegalta Sendai. Kishi Yano is narrowly offside as he reacts to a rebound in the penalty area. Hayashi got his body behind Yano’s shot, but it would have fallen to Bruno Lopes, with an open goal in which to slot a finish.

16 Mins: Vegalta have their first corner of the match, bent in by Yoshiaki Ota, but Higashiguchi gets a strong fist to the ball, and it is well-cleared by the Albirex goalkeeper.

20 Mins: The league leaders are struggling at the moment. Wilson is especially isolated in attack. Albi’s nominal 4-3-3 on paper is much closer to a 4-2-3-1, and Vegalta are struggling to find a way through the extra men supporting the defensive line, while the three attacking midfielders are doing an excellent job in tracking Vegalta players in possession.

20 Mins:Atomu Tanaka wastes an opportunity from a set piece, firing well clear of Hayashi’s crossbar from 25 yards.

23 Mins: Vegalta have also been suspect under high balls, with crosses and long throw-ins from the Albirex left regularly being met by one of their own players.

26 Mins: A second corner for Vegalta taken by Ota, but it’s well-claimed by Higashiguchi. He launches a very quick clearance, which Bruno Lopes plays on to Michael and the counter-attack ends in a corner for the home side.

26 Mins:Tanaka’s corner is swung in to the near post again, but Michael’s attempted heel-flick fails, swept upwards and easily saved by Hayashi to his left.

28 Mins: Bruno Lopes and Michael are linking well for Albirex Niigata, and a lovely quick exchange within the penalty area sees a return pass just miscontrolled by Michael bearing down on goal.

31 Mins: Kunimitsu Sekiguchi creates space for himself on the left-wing, stepping over the ball and forcing Daisuke Suzuki backwards. He whips a dangerous cross into the penalty area which is dealt with by Naoki Ishikawa. The ball is returned to Wilson out wide, but the forward is immediately surrounded by four players, and under pressure he can only concede a goal kick.

35 Mins: Ten minutes left to play in an eventful first period which the home side have largely dominated, it’s Albirex Niigata 0 Vegalta Sendai 0.

36 Mins: Atomu Tanaka earns his side a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area, pulled back by Jiro Kamata. Lenient refereeing from Futoshi Nakamura allows Kamata to evade a first booking of this match.

37 Mins: Tanaka fires the free-kick straight into Vegalta’s three man wall, but the ball is worked out to Naoki Ishikawa, who gains a further corner for his side, taken again by Kamata.

38 Mins: Kamata chooses this time to swing his cross a little deeper into the penalty area, but while Yano connects, it’s weak and directed straight at Hayashi.

40 Mins: A glancing header from Makoto Kakuda fails to trouble Higashiguchi from Tamura’s in-swinging cross out right, falling a couple of feet wide of the post.

41 Mins: Kisho Yano is pulled back by Joo-Sung Park close to the Vegalta goal-line. Tanaka attempts to find Bruno Lopes, but it is headed clear strongly by Taikai Uemoto.

45 Mins: Kisho Yano is brought down yet again by Joo-Sung Park, and his kick into the winger’s chest brings the first booking of this context.

45 Mins: Tanaka standing over the ball on the right touchline, but his delivery is poor and it’s easily cleared away from the Vegalta penalty area.

45 Mins: Kisho Yano is booked by referee Nakamura for returning to the field of play before he is permitted to do so, much to the crowd and Yano’s bemusement. It is, however, a perfectly legitimate yellow card.

45 Mins+1: The man in black brings the first period to a close.

HT: Vegalta Sendai’s expected strong start only lasted for roughly five minutes, and they have been dominated by an energetic Albirex Niigata team preying particularly on a perceived and real weakness in Vegalta’s ability to deal with a high ball. Their passing has also been eye-catching at times, the movement of Yano, Michael and Lopes causing numerous problems for Vegalta’s normally robust defence.

46 Mins: Perhaps after a stinging rebuke from manager Makoto Teguramori, Vegalta Sendai emerge from the tunnel early for the second period. Albirex get the final 45 minutes underway.

47 Mins: Masaaki Higashiguchi is quickly off his line after a through ball from Wilson nearly finds Atsushi Yanagisawa, the goalkeeper diving to clasp the ball at the striker’s feet.

49 Mins: Yoshiaki Ota nearly finds a break for Vegalta Sendai. Drawing across the penalty area from the right touchline, he plays a quick one-two with Wilson, and only the quick feet of Daisuke Suzuki prevents Ota from going clean through on goal.

50 Mins: A corner for Vegalta which Naoki Ishikawa attempts to clear with a scissor kick, but it drops to Taikai Uemoto to the left of the penalty area. He volleys on the turn, but it is clear of the crossbar, and Higashiguchi sends the resulting goal-kick long downfield.

51 Mins: A piece of wonderful control from Ota on the right-wing is followed by a disappointing cross which is much too close to Higashiguchi in the Albirex goal.

53 Mins: Kisho Yano is perhaps fortunate to escape a yellow card after putting a knee into the back of Taikai Uemoto.

54 Mins: As dominant as Albirex were in the first half, the roles have been reversed ten minutes into the second period. Vegalta significantly the stronger side, but they will need to find much better delivery from their set pieces if they are to force Masaaki Higashiguchi into making a save.

58 Mins: Jiro Kamata concedes a corner in clearning Jin-Su Kim’s cross from the Albirex right.

59 Mins: Tanaka’s cross is once again to the near post and is cleared, but Tanaka recovers, and wriggling his way past Wilson and Makoto Kakuda, he fires a ball across the penalty area which is just too high for Michael.

61 Mins: Bruno Lopes sends Michael clear 15 yards outside the Vegalta 18-yard box, but Jiro Kamata is very quick to close down and puts a strong foot in to prevent the forward continuing his run.

63 Mins: Bruno Lopes is shown a yellow card for a strong but seemingly fair challenge on Makoto Kakuda, which results in a free-kick ten yards in Albirex territory.

63 Mins: It’s so close to a goal for Vegalta. Yoshiaki Ota delivers a cross to the back post which Kakuda heads across goal, and it’s inches away from being turned in by Atsushi Yanagisawa.

64 Mins: The home side now have a free-kick 26 yards from goal. Atomu Tanaka waits to take the set piece.

64 Mins: Tanaka hits the wall, and while the ball rebounds to Jun Uchida, his first time effort from 22 yards is well wide of Takuo Hayashi’s right upright.

66 Mins: Naoya Kikuchi is the next into the book, as he takes away Jiro Kamata’s legs with a cynical trip.

67 Mins: Makoto Kakuda tries from distance, but his low shot, covered by Higashiguchi, drifts left of his right post.

72 Mins: Atsushi Yanagisawa is replaced by Toshihiro Matsushita For Vegalta Sendai. Yoshiaki Ota is finding plenty of space for the away team, drifting across the penalty area from his typical position in right midfield. Albirex, however, have produced a performance which belies their current position in the table.

75 Mins: Into the last quarter of an hour, it’s Albirex Niigata 0 Vegalta Sendai 0.

75 Mins: Ota thinks he has scored, but it’s into the side netting. Wilson received the ball in space on the left, and played a lovely pass to an overlapping Matsushita. His cross is good, but Ota’s header is safely knocked wide by Higashiguchi who puts safety first.

76 Mins: Taikai Uemoto puts Joo-Sung Park into enormous difficulty after a dreadful crossfield pass is intercepted by Michael. The forward beats Uemoto and brings the ball onto his left foot in the penalty area, but he fires wide of Takuto Hayashi’s upright.

78 Mins: Albirex’s Jun Uchida makes way for Yusuke Murakami.

80 Mins: Yoshiaki Ota leaves the field for Yuki Moto.

80 Mins: 10 minutes of normal time remaining, but we remain scoreless, Albirex Niigata 0 Vegalta Sendai 0.

83 Mins: An excellent piece of defending from Joo-Sung Park takes the ball away from Bruno Lopes’s feet, with the forward almost one-on-one with Takuto Hayashi.

87 Mins: PENALTY! Wilson, who has been largely anonymous during this match, is judged to have been fouled by Daisuke Suzuki. Suzuki puts his arm across Wilson, and is booked for the offence, but it appears very harsh on the Albirex central defender.

88 Mins: Alan Mineiro is on the field in place of Atomu Tanaka.

88 Mins: Wilson is ready to take the spot kick while Albirex’s protests against the decision continue.

88 Mins: GOAL! Masaaki Higashiguchi, who has been commanding in goal for the home side, is unable to prevent Wilson scoring. The goalkeeper dives to his right, Wilson sending the ball into the opposite corner of the net.

88 Mins:Albirex Niigata 0 Vegalta Sendai 1

90 Mins: A furious Bruno Lopes is shown a second yellow card and sent off the field of plau. He continues his protest with Nakamura, sarcastically applauding the official on his way off the field, which will potentially result in frther punishment for the forward, who has to be dragged away by staff on the touchline.

90 Mins: There are four minutes of added time to be played.

90 Mins+2: Wilson is substitued, Tayayuki Nakahara on for the remaining moments of this match.

90 Mins+4: Four minutes of added time have been played, but the match continues, which is assumed to be for the delays to the match following Bruno Lopes’s sending off.

90 Mins+6: The referee whistles for the end of play, which is met with a significant and hostile reaction from the home support.

FT: Albirex Niigata have significant reason to feel aggrived by the decision which swayed the outcome of this match. A game they had largely dominated, albeit in which they had created few clear-cut opportunities, was almost certainly heading for a draw until Futoshi Nakamura pointed to the spot to allow Wilson to give Vegalta Sendai the victory. Albirex’s overall performance may give manager Hisashi Kurosaki some comfort, but they may face a prolonged period without forward Bruno Lopes after his furious reaction to being shown a second yellow card.

FT:Albirex Niigata 0 Vegalta Sendai 1

FT: Thank you for joining me. A full match report will appear on this website on Sunday 29 April.