J.League Division 1: Matchday Five Round-up

(Urawa Red Diamonds score three in the first half, overturning a second minute finish by Shinzo Koroki to win 3-1 against Kashima Antlers. Kashima have lost four of their five J.League Division 1 matches and scored a single goal, and with just one point have a significant amount of work to do to escape last place in the division)

A stunning volley in the fifth minute of added time from Wilson saved Vegalta Sendai both from their first defeat of the season, and being replaced by Jubilo Iwata at the top of J.League Division 1 in their 2-2 draw at the Yurtec Stadium, all four goals coming in the second period. Wilson’s second goal of the season in all competitions couldn’t have come closer to full-time for the home side, a long, angled ball from Naoki Sugai positioned on the halfway line controlled expertly on the chest by the Brazilian, who in a single movement turned and volleyed left-footed beyond goalkeeper Naoki Hatta into the bottom right corner.

Vegalta were twice forced to come from behind to protect their unbeaten record, though it was Makoto Teguramori’s side who thought they had opened the scoring, Wilson sweeping home a low Shingo Akamine cross before being pulled back for offside. Instead it was Jubilo who had the advantage on 58 minutes, a beautifully flighted cross from Hiroki Yamada on the left wing finding Minoru Suganuma at the back post, and he turned the ball home from four yards despite the best efforts of Takuto Hayashi to prevent it crossing the line.

The home side did eventually find a path to goal via Kunimitsu Sekiguchi, Wilson providing the midfielder with an accurately weighted pass despite being under heavy pressure and off-balance, and the 26 year-old neatly passed the ball to the left side of the onrushing Hatta from eight yards.

Shizuoka’s Sorrow then netted for a second time, as Kosuke Yamamoto intercepted a loose ball with 11 minutes remaining and drove largely unimpeded to 20 yards, before transferring to his left foot and drilling a perfectly placed shot into the bottom left hand corner past the dive of Takuto Hayashi. It would be Wilson, however, who would have the last word of the match, a result which ensures Vegalta head J.League Division 1 for another week despite seeing their 100% start to the season come to an end.

Gamba Osaka’s woes in J.League Division 1 continued with a 4-1 defeat at the Hiroshima Big Arch against Sanfrecce. Manager Masanobu Matsunami had seen his tenure begin with a draw in the domestic championship followed by a confidence-boosting victory in the AFC Champions League, but he could not transfer the form shown in mid-week in a result which means the team still remains winless and in seventeenth place in the table. Sanfre, meanwhile, made it four wins out of five in J1, which continues the positive start under new manager Hajime Moriyasu and puts them in second spot on goal difference. Two Hisato Sato goals gave Moriyasu’s men the lead, the first within ten minutes, and then with just over half an hour played, Sato converted a penalty to record a landmark 100th Division 1 goal, firing low into the bottom left corner as goalkeeper Yosuke Fujigawa dived the wrong way. Akihiro Sato pulled one back three minutes after the restart, and Shinichi Terada had the opportunity to level matters from the penalty spot with quarter of an hour to play, but saw his spot-kick saved. The match was put beyond Gamba’s reach with five minutes of normal time left, Sato’s replacement Ryuichi Hirashige adding the third, before he scored his second J1 goal and Sanfrecce’s fourth on 88 minutes.

Shimizu S-Pulse climbed two places to eighth in the table following their triumph over Vissel Kobe at the Home’s Stadium, but they left it until as late as the 82nd minute to take the points. A single Alex goal separated the two sides, as he followed up on the rebound after Takuma Edamura’s initial foray had been bravely stopped at his feet by goalkeeper Kenta Tokushige.

Defending champions Kashiwa Reysol’s slow but steady climb up the table after an indifferent start to the season continued with a 2-0 win at the Sapporo Dome versus Consadole. In a thoroughly one-sided match in which the Sun Kings recorded 23 shots to Consadole’s 7, goals either side of half-time were sufficient to move Reysol into tenth place. Nelsinho’s side took the lead through a spectacular finish by Masato Kudo, the away side building from halfway with Tatsuya Matsushima and Hiroki Sakai involved, and although the latter’s chipped ball should have been intercepted by Tatsuki Nara from Kudo’s attempted flick on, the forward then took full advantage of the error to rifle a shot from across the angle past Takahori Takagi into the top left. The second goal came courtesy of a Leandro Domingues corner and poor defending from the home side. Consadole failed to post men on either upright, and while Domingues’ corner was well-executed and curled away to the edge of the six-yard box, defender Jade North jumped too early, allowing the ball to be met in the air by Naoya Kondo who finished with the simplest of headers.

The Tohoku Denryoku Big Swan Stadium saw Albirex Niigata and Yokohama F-Marinos fight out a fairly lacklustre and insipid 0-0 draw in which the two sides shared just 12 shots in total. The two teams have struggled for goals to date and are still in search of their first J.League Division 1 victories, Marinos currently sitting in fourteenth position with Albi one place lower.

Kashima Antlers scored their first league goal of the season, but they continue to languish at the bottom of the table as they fell to a 3-1 loss at home to Urawa Red Diamonds. A crowd of 23,507 at the Hitachi Kashima Soccer Stadium saw their hopes raised as they went a goal in front after just 2 minutes, a one-two between Takehide Umebachi and Yasushi Endo allowing the midfielder to float a lovely cross touchline to the back post, and Shinzo Koroki timed his run to perfection as his header back across goal flew into the bottom right. Hopes were soon dashed, however, as the Reds not only equalised within 60 minutes but took the lead themselves as the clock passed the five minute mark. First, a change of direction from Yosuke Kashiwagi gave him space in the midfield, and he picked out a completely unmarked Marcio Richardes in the penalty area. Richardes took one touch before unleasing a powerful strike from 12 yards into the angle of the goal. Kashiwagi, the 24-year old central midfielder, was heavily involved in Urawa’s second, his pass to Yuki Abe turned first-time into the direction of Popo stationed to the left of Hitoshi Sogahata’s goal, and the Brazilian bent the ball into the top left corner from eight yards. The third and final goal came on 25 minutes, Tsukasa Umesaki spotting the run of Richardes and flighting a ball from halfway to the edge of the penalty area. Richardes failed to control and was upended by Toru Araiba, and although the contact looked to be at least a yard outside the penalty area, referee Hiroyuki Kimura had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Richardes duly converted for his second of the match, easily beating Sogahata in shooting to the bottom left. The result heightens the pressure on Antlers manager Jorginho, with just one point, one goal and four defeats to show in his tenure in J1 to date.

FC Tokyo rose to third place in the table on the back of a 1-0 win at Kawasaki Frontale. The Gas didn’t make it easy for themselves, seeing Aria Hasegawa dismissed for a second bookable offence with three minutes played in the second period, but Masato Morishige headed home a Naohiro Ishikawa corner in the 87th minute to ensure they left the Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium with all three points.

Nagoya Grampus were made to work very hard for their victory over Sagan Tosu at the Toyota Stadium. Sagan, who have surprised many with an impressive start to their first ever season in the top-flight of Japanese football, had double the amount of shots and corner kicks as Grampus, and Dragan Stojković’s side’s foul count reflected in part their discomfort in containing the visitors. The only goal of the game came in the 27th minute, when Kensuke Nagai notched his second of the J1 campaign, judging the bounce of the ball to head home a Danilson cross from the left.

You can read the full match report for Omiya Ardija 0 Cerezo Osaka 3 here.


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