Created: Sunday, 02 September 2018 Written by Alan Gibson

 

Grampus Grab Six Goals, Seven Wins In-a-Row. Gamba Hit Frontale's Championship Hopes!

by Hugh Joshiri

J.League Division 1's 24th matchday of the season ended on Sunday with relegation-threatened Sagan Tosu - featuring ex-Liverpool, Chelsea and Athletic Madrid striker, Fernando Torres - earning a point at 3rd-placed FC Tokyo in an uninspiring 0-0 draw.

The curtain rose on Friday night with bottom club V-Varen Nagasaki going down to a home defeat to mid-table Shonan Bellmare, 3-1, before the main act came on Saturday, with seven games contested. In the early afternoon kick-off, Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo made light work of Vissel Kobe in a 3-1 home victory that saw German star Lukas Podolski shown a harsh straight red card for a late tackle in 1st half added time. Former Barcelona and Spain star, Andres Iniesta, was unable to influence the match and was substituted in the 55th minute. Consadole remain in 4th place in J1, while Vissel dropped to 7th, with their hopes of qualifying for the 2019 Asian Champions League being dealt a blow.

At the top of the table, Sanfrecce Hiroshima triumphed 3-1 at home against a Kashima Antlers team that had impressed in their own ACL match in midweek but had no answer to a potent Sanfrecce attack this weekend. With 2nd-placed Kawasaki Frontale's 2-0 defeat at the hands of 2nd-from-bottom Gamba Osaka, the Hiroshima club stretched their lead to nine points at the summit of J1.

Osaka's other J1 team, Cerezo, rose to 5th spot after coming from behind against Urawa Reds to record a 2-1 win, while Vegalta Sendai followed them up the table to 6th after a home victory over Shimizu S-Pulse.

The remaining match in Japan's top division saw Nagoya Grampus smash six goals in at Jubilo Iwata to make it seven wins in-a-row. The Nagoya team have risen from rock bottom of J1 before the international break to 11th spot in the 18-team division. Former Manchester City and Everton marksman, Jo, notched a brace in this match and has now taken his total to 19 goals in 26 League and Cup appearances.


Below: the other Nagoua Jo!

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