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There is a familiar look to the top of the J-League, where Gamba Osaka and Urawa Reds currently occupy the top two positions.

 

The two clubs clashed in front of 55,258 fans at Saitama Stadium on May 13, where the shares were spoiled in a 1-1 draw, after Bare’s early opener was cancelled out by Washington.

 

Washington endured a frustrating afternoon against Gamba, first seeing a goal chalked off for a foul on thirty-seven minutes, before Gamba goalkeeper Yosuke Fujigaya saved Washington’s spot-kick after sixty-four minutes. The temperamental striker finally got on the score-sheet after seventy-six minutes, as the honours were shared in Saitama.

 

Gamba got back to winning ways on May 19, beating Kashiwa Reysol 2-1 in wet conditions at Expo ’70 Stadium in Osaka. Ex-Ventforet Kofu striker Bare scored his seventh goal of the season to open proceedings. Midfielder Takahiro Futagawa then produced an early contender for goal-of-the-season, with a stunning thirty yard strike that rocketed passed Yuta Minami in the Kashiwa goal.

 

On the stroke of half-time former Bayer Leverkusen front-man Franca played in strike partner Tadanari Ri, and the Japan under-22 international produced a clinical finish to beat Fujigaya in the Gamba goal. That’s how the scoreline stayed, as the second half failed to match the excitement of the first.

 

In Aichi-ken 34,347 fans turned out at Toyota Stadium, but the https://www.southendformaggio.com/  fans left disappointed as Urawa snatched a 2-1 win over Nagoya Grampus Eight. With Marcus Tulio Tanaka missing through a thigh injury, Brazilian defender Fabio Nene stepped in, and he opened the scoring by heading home Robson Ponte’s twenty-seventh minute corner.

 

Norwegian international Frode Johnsen equalised when he ghosted in behind the Urawa defence to volley home Shohei Abe’s left-wing cross, as the two teams went in level at the break. It took until the eighty-fourth minute for Urawa to conjure a winner, when Washington stabbed home from twelve yards to maintain the pressure on Gamba Osaka at the top of the table.

 

The match between Omiya Ardija and Yokohama FC was delayed for twenty minutes as a ferocious storm swept over Komaba Stadium, drenching the 9,466 fans in attendance. It was the home side who ultimately came out on top, with an eighty-third minute Daisuke Tomita winner relieving some of the pressure on new coach Robert Verbeek. The win lifts Omiya above Yokohama FC, although Omiya are still second-from-bottom on the J-League table.

 

JEF United turned in a diabolical performance at Fukuda Denshi Arena, losing 3-1 to visitors Sanfrecce Hiroshima, for whom Ueslei scored a hat-trick inside half an hour.

 

The problems began for United when veteran goalkeeper Tomonori Tateishi raced towards the corner flag to intercept a stray ball. Ueslei arrived first, and his cross was handled on the goal line by Koji Nakajima. Referee Yuichi Nishimura was lenient in showing Nakajima a yellow card, but Ueslei was less generous, and he converted the spot-kick after just six minutes of play.…