10-man Reds falter to Grampus

10-man Reds falter to Grampus

After beginning the season on a run of 19 matches unbeaten, Urawa Reds have now fallen to two consecutive defeats, succumbing 2-1 at Nagoya Grampus on Saturday.

The MEIJI YASUDA J1 League first stage winners were looking to bounce back from their unexpected home defeat to Sanfrecce Hiroshima last week, and seized the initiative in the 19th minute at Paloma Mizuho Stadium through a Yusuke Muta own-goal.

However, the hosts’ replied immediately, as Daisuke Nasu’s attempts to stop Kensuke Nagai’s run proved futile, allowing the Grampus forward to cross for Kengo Kawamata to head in an easy equaliser.

Nagai was proving to be a real livewire in the opening exchanges and was instrumental again barely two minutes later when Ryota Moriwaki got sent off for a professional foul on the 26-year-old, who was sent clear on goal only to be dragged down.

Nevertheless, Akira Nishino’s men were only able to make their numerical advantage count in the second half as Kisho Yano bagged the winner, the right-back unleashing a daisy-cutter from range that evaded Shusaku Nishikawa reach.

The result leaves the Reds floundering with four points from four games, in stark contrast to second stage leaders Sanfrecce who extended their perfect start with a straightforward 2-0 win over Yokohama F.Marinos.

A brace from Douglas was key for Hajime Moriyasu’s side to keep moving forward at maximum pace here, their fourth win out of four matches since the restart strengthening the 2013 winners grip at the top of the league.

2014 champions Gamba Osaka meanwhile returned to winning ways by beating Vissel Kobe 2-1, putting an end to a stretch of three games without victory.

Gamba captain Yasuhito Endo fired the visitors into the lead with a spectacular effort in the 12th minute that Kaito Yamamoto could only palm into his own net, before Takahito Soma saw a straight red card for a two-footed challenge which compounded Vissel’s misery.

Nelsinho’s team managed to equalise from a corner right before the half-time break however, and appeared to be on the verge of earning a point only for Takashi Usami to smash his own long-range effort past Yamamoto to put Gamba back on the front foot in the league.

Kashima Antlers managed to defeat FC Tokyo 2-1 during Masatada Ishii’s first match in charge thanks to goals from Gaku Shibasaki and Gen Shoji, rendering Australian Nathan Burns’ first-ever goal in Japan, a 70th-minute equaliser for Tokyo, inconsequential.

Kashiwa Reysol had spent the first stage floundering but appear to picked up some momentum now, Cristiano’s 87th-minute winner against Vegalta Sendai handing his team a 1-0 win to move them second in the table.

Shunsuke Iwanuma’s volley earned Matsumoto Yamaga a valuable three points in their 1-0 victory over Ventforet Kofu, while Albirex Niigata roared to a 3-1 win over Montedio Yamagata.

Kawasaki Frontale emerged the eventual victors over Shimizu S-Pulse with a 3-2 scoreline, Yoshito Okubo and Peter Utaka both recording braces.

At Best Amenity Stadium, Kota Mizunuma will rue that his excellent chipped finish was only able to earn Sagan Tosu a 1-1 draw against Shonan Bellmare.