Muto celebrates Japan call by surging up league scoring charts

Muto celebrates Japan call by surging up league scoring charts

Yoshinori Muto and Takashi Usami celebrated recent call-ups to the Japan squad in style with a goal apiece in matchday 3 of the J.League.

FC Tokyo’s Muto moved top of the J.League scoring charts on three goals when he struck in his side’s second in a 2-0 win at Vissel Kobe, with fellow Samurai Blue Masato Morishige finding the net in the first period.

Gamba Osaka got back to winning ways by beating Ventforet Kofu 2-0 away thanks to golden boy Usami’s second goal of the season, a week after the team slumped to defeat at Sagan Tosu.

There were fears of a repeat shock when the champions failed to breakthrough in the first period, but Hiroyuki Abe’s opener and then Usami’s clincher ensured Kenta Hasegawa’s men responded in the best possible way.

Gamba’s result sees the gap with Urawa Red Diamonds at the top cut to a mere three points, after the latter were unable to find a breakthrough at fellow high-flyers Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

Last term’s title outsiders Sagan Tosu were also looking to keep up with the pace-setters away to Yokohama F.Marinos, but Shingo Hyodo’s opportunistic finish in the 81st minutes handed Erick Mombaerts’ men their first win of the season.

Struggling Kashima Antlers have still not tasted victory this season however, after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Nagoya Grampus after Mu Kanazaki’s opener was cancelled out by Grampus’ Kisho Yano in the 69th minute.

The visitors exertions in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday was evident, with continental hangover likely playing a large factor in Kashiwa Reysol’s 3-2 defeat at Albirex Niigata too.

A dreary match exploded into life in the second period as Albirex responded to going a goal down first with strikes from Leo Silva, Kosuke Yamamoto and Rafael Silva, with Naoki Wako’s consolation unable to spark a comeback for Reysol given Akimi Barada was sent off soon afterwards.

There was no such drama when Shonan Bellmare ground out a goalless draw against Vegalta Sendai, but Matsumoto Yamaga did sneak off with a 1-0 win at Shimizu S-Pulse thanks to Masaki Iida’s 19th minute winner.

Yasuharu Sorimachi’s MEIJI YASUDA J2 League runners’ up go ninth and level on four points this season with Kawasaki Frontale, who lost 1-0 to Montedio Yamagata in Sunday’s late kick-off.