After five rounds of the J-League, newly promoted side Kashiwa Reysol are the unexpected table-toppers.
Kashiwa beat Yokohama F. Marinos 2-0 in a heated encounter at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama on April 7, courtesy of goals from Tatsuya Suzuki and Yukihiko Sato.
The match was notable for referee Hiroshi Tanabe’s decision to disallow a Koji Yamase strike just before half-time. Tanabe claimed that Yamase had committed a foul in the lead up to the goal, but video replays suggest that Yamase’s goal was legitimate.
Elsewhere in J1 Gamba Osaka came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Kawasaki Frontale, in front of 18,587 fans at a rain-soaked Expo ’70 Stadium in Osaka.
Hiroyuki Taniguchi opened the scoring for Kawasaki, only for Tomokazu Myojin to hit back for the home team. Brazilian midfielder Magnum – who has been in excellent form in 2007, restored Kawasaki’s lead, but an eighty-third minute strike from defender Satoshi Yamaguchi restored parity for Gamba Osaka, who are currently lying in second on the J-League table.
A crowd of 45,025 braved the rain at Saitama Stadium, to witness home team Urawa Reds come from behind to beat Jubilo Iwata 2-1. Robert Cullen opened the scoring for the visitors, but goals either side of half-time from Washington and Robson Ponte secured all three points for the Reds.
In Sunday’s action, Shimizu S-Pulse Togel Singapore ground out a hard fought 2-0 win over Oita Trinita, thanks to goals from defender Daisuke Ichikawa and South Korean international Cho Jae-Jin.
JEF United recorded their first league win of the season, with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Yokohama FC. Goals from Koki Mizuno, Seiichiro Maki, Naotake Hanyu and Satoru Yamagishi moved United out of the drop zone and up to thirteenth place on the J-League table.
In J2 news, northern outfit Vegalta Sendai are on top of the table, despite only managing a 2-2 draw away at Tokushima Vortis in the latest round of matches.
Kyoto Sanga FC, who were relegated from J1 last season, beat fallen giants Tokyo Verdy 3-1 in Tokyo, to move up to second in the standings. They are equal on points with Consadole Sapporo, who drew 0-0 at home against Avispa Fukuoka – another club relegated from J1 last season.
Tokyo Verdy and Fukuoka round out the top five, while Cerezo Osaka are in seventh on the J2 ladder.
Nabisco League Cup
The opening group stage of the League Cup has passed the midway point and after four games, the groups are beginning to take shape.
In Group A, JEF United lost 1-0 at home to Gamba Osaka in the latest round of matches, however they still top the group with nine points. Gamba are second with seven points. After beating Vissel Kobe 1-0 in Kobe in their last match, Sanfrecce Hiroshima have six points, but Kobe have virtually been eliminated from the tournament having picked up just one point so …