Bellmare & Montedio earn dramatic wins as Avispa stay top

Bellmare & Montedio earn dramatic wins as Avispa stay top

The 2017 MEIJI YASUDA J2 League’s 19th round began on Saturday as the battle for positioning in the top half of the table intensified even further.

Leaders Avispa Fukuoka found themselves trailing at home to Nagoya Grampus after just 14 minutes, but mounted an inspiring comeback late in the second half. 

Two goals from substitute Daisuke Ishizu and a third by Hisashi Jogo gave the Kyushu side a dramatic 3-1 win, handing Grampus their third straight defeat.

Second-place Shonan Bellmare stayed level on points with Avispa thanks to a stunning stoppage time goal by Takuya Okamoto, giving the seaside club a dramatic 1-0 win over Kyoto Sanga whose unbeaten streak ended at 11 matches.

Mito Hollyhock rose to seventh place in the standings with a 3-1 home win over JEF United Chiba, who are winless in their last three matches.

Playoff contenders Tokyo Verdy and Ehime FC battled to a 3-3 draw at Ajinomoto Stadium, a final score reached only after Takashi Kondo’s 90th-minute goal for the visitors was negated by Verdy’s Yoshiaki Takagi deep into stoppage time.

Roasso Kumamoto were unable to earn a win for new manager Tomoyoshi Ikeya in a 3-0 loss at Tokushima Vortis.

The remaining match of the round, between Thespa Kusatsu Gunma and Matsumoto Yamaga, will take place on Sunday July 18 at 19:00 JST.

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