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Utaka heroics cannot prevent Tokyo draw

Sun, 2 Apr 2017 - 22:45 JST
Utaka heroics cannot prevent Tokyo draw

A collapse in the final two minutes saw FC Tokyo only manage a 3-3 draw against Sagan Tosu in the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League on Saturday.

It was in fact Yohei Toyoda who put the visitors in front in just the fourth minute, and it was only in the 70th minute that the capital club found an answer.

Peter Utaka, on for Sotan Tanabe in the 58th minute, hit home the equaliser and looked to put Tokyo on the home stretch with his second strike 15 minutes later following Kento Hashimoto doubling their lead.

But Sagan had other plans, and Daichi Kamada and Cho Dong-geon struck twice in quick succession to silence a stunned Ajinomoto Stadium and escape with a point.

Gamba Osaka’s 3-2 fightback at Albirex Niigata was equally thrilling, as Shu Kurata put the visitors in front only for them to surrender the advantage to strikes by Ryohei Yamazaki and Rony.

But Kim Jung-ya hit one back in the 76th minute to hand the momentum back to Gamba before Yosuke Ideguchi struck the winner to seal an emphatic comeback for Kenta Hasegawa’s men.

Despite falling to a 3-1 defeat to fellow title rivals Urawa Reds, Vissel Kobe still remain top of the J1 League standings but had their failings in front of goal ruthlessly exploited by Mihailo Petrovic’s troops.

The match truly burst to life at Noevir Stadium after the hour mark when Yosuke Kashiwagi struck the opener and Wataru Endo hit home three minutes later.

Yuya Nakasawa netted for Vissel but any hopes of a comeback were snuffed out when Kashiwagi struck his second of the afternoon to put Reds two points behind the leaders.

Indeed, the loss enabled Kashima Antlers to pull level on 12 points after Shoma Doi’s 79th-minute strike enabled them to grind out a 1-0 victory at Omiya Ardija.

Kashiwa Reysol deepened Sanfrecce Hiroshima woes by winning 2-0 to leave the 2015 Japanese champions with a single point this season, while Kawasaki Frontale defeated Vegalta Sendai by the same scoreline.

Jubilo Iwata surged to a 3-1 win over Shimizu S-Pulse to move them three points clear of Ventforet Kofu, who host Consadole Sapporo on Sunday.