Week three of the J-League and Yokohama kept up their perfect record with victory over Jubilo. Goals from Yuzo Kurihara and a second of the season for Shingo Hyodo cancelled out Hiroki Yamada’s.
Cerezo Osaka is the only other team in the J1 to have a perfect record, as they beat FC Tokyo 1-0, who before the game had won their opening two games. This will be seen as a surprise start for Cerezo after just escaping relegation last term.
The game of the week undoubtedly occurred between Sagan Tosu and Kawasaki Frontale. At one stage Sagan was 4-0 in front, only for Frontale to stage somewhat of a comeback, but in the end it finished 5-4. Whichever way you look at it, the teams strikers will have been pleased, their defence less so. This was Sagan’s first victory of the season and moved them into fifth place, whilst Frontale are currently rock bottom.
Championship contenders Urawa Red Diamonds came face to face with Oita Trinita in what turned out to be a hard fought 2-2 draw. Oita is still searching for their first win of the campaign, after a draw and a loss in their opening games. As for the Red’s they are currently sitting in third position right behind the leading pack. Champions Sanfreece Hiroshima are currently the middle team in the table as they sit ninth after a 0-0 in the Sunday game against Kashima Antlers, who they themselves are hoping to mount a serious title challenge this season.
Japanese Super Cup runners-up Kashiwa Reysol failed to defeat last season J1 runners-up Vegalta Sendai as Brazilian Wilson scored an 86th minute winner to hand all three points to the home side. Vegalta will have been relieved to have finally been able to record their first win of the season and will now look to re-discover the form that helped them finish so high in the league last year.
Albirex Niigata moved off bottom spot with a draw against high flying Omiya Ardija, with the game finishing one a piece, Venforet Kofu’s difficult start to the season continued as they lost at home to Nagoya Grampus; that win for Nagoya Grampus, keeps them in tenth place in the league. In our final game Shonan Bellmare moved up the league as they jumped opponents Shimizu S-Pulse even though the game finished a draw, goal difference being the reason for the change.
There are no J1 games until March 30 now as the international break is in full swing. Japan face Canada in a friendly and then face a trip to Jordan in a World Cup Qualifying match.
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