There were goals aplenty in this Sunday’s round of J2 matches, while at the bottom Tokyo Verdy got their season kick-started.
At the top, a Popo double gave leaders Vissel Kobe a 2-1 win at the Alwin stadium against Matsumoto Yamaga. Takuyuki Funayama had given the hosts an early lead but almost immediately relinquished it as Popo equalized. Then, in the 70th minute, Popo grabbed his and Kobe’s second to take all three points. Matsumoto, so strong at home last year, must be concerned about their home form so far this season as they have taken only one point from a possible nine at home this season. Up into second place are Montedio Yamagata who dismantled Yokohama FC 5-1 in snowy/sleety conditions at the ND Soft stadium. There were five different goalscorers for Monte, and the game was practically over at the break as they went in 3-0 up. Yokohama look a shadow of the side that made the play-offs last year.
Gamba Osaka have moved ominously into third spot after their 3-1 victory at the Sapporo Dome against Consadole Sapporo. Leandro put Gamba one up just before half time and Ienaga and Iwashita added goals in the second half. Tomoyuki Arata’s first half injury time strike lifted Fagiano Okayama into fourth after a 1-0 win in Matsuyama against Ehime FC; Yusuke Kondo’s double set Tochigi SC on the way to a north Kanto derby win against Thespa Kusatsu Gunma, the final score being 3-0 to Tochigi at the Green Stadium; and Hisahsi Jogo’s goal was not enough to give Avispa Fukuoka all three points in their game against Mito Hollyhock as the Ibaraki side equalized in injury time through Yuki Yamamura.
Personal performance of the day surely goes to Kempes as the Brazilian striker’s four goal haul helped JEF United thump Giravanz Kitakyushu 6-1 at the Fukuari. Oiwa & Jair also got on the scoresheet for the Chiba club as they lifted some of the pressure on boss Jun Suzuki. Kataller Toyama remain in the top six, although they will have been disappointed to concede a late equalizer against Roasso Kumamoto in Kyushu. Ex-FC Gifu forward Yudai Nishikawa took advantage of some hesitant goalkeeping to lash the visitors in front, but Toyama were pegged back when Kohei Kuroki fired in an equalizer which the Toyama ‘keeper could well have kept out. Kyoto Sanga were handed their second loss in a row as Tokushima Vortis came away from Nishikyogoku with all three points. Goals form Shibasaki & Tsuda were enough to seal the points despite Kazuki Hara’s last minute penalty giving Sanga faint hope.
At the bottom, Tokyo Verdy gave coach Yasutoshi Miura his first win of the season as his side won easily against FC Gifu. First half goals from Takahara, Tokiwa & Nishi gave the Tokyo Greens an unassailable lead and by the end Gifu had gone their 6th straight game without a goal. Ex-Shimizu S-Pulse striker Takahara’s goal was a great strike. Finally, V-Varen Nagasaki recorded their second win of the season as they beat previously high-flying Gainare Tottori 3-1 in Nagasaki.
Matchday 6 results
- Matsumoto Yamaga 1-2 Vissel Kobe
- Montedio Yamagata 5-1 Yokohama FC
- Tochigi SC 3-0 Thespa Kusatsu Gunma
- Avispa Fukuoka 1-1 Mito Hollyhock
- Roasso Kumamoto 1-1 Kataller Toyama
- Ehime FC 0-1 Fagiano Okayama
- Consadole Sapporo 1-3 Gamba Osaka
- JEF United 6-1 Giravanz Kitakyushu
- Tokyo Verdy 3-0 FC Gifu
- Kyoto Sanga 1-2 Tokushima Vortis
- V-Varen Nagasaki 3-1 Gainare Tottori