Goals galore, surprise results and one of the finest comebacks I’ve seen for a while…..welcome to J2 2013!!

Vissel Kobe stayed top, but only after letting slip a three goal lead at home against Fagiano Okayama at Noevir Stadium in an amazing game. It looked as if Vissel would end Fagiano’s unbeaten start when they went into a 3-0 half time lead via two goals from Yuzo Tashiro that sandwiched a Sugiura penalty.  However, two goals from substitute Shingo Kukita in the 85th & 87th minutes set up a grandstand finish and Tomoyuki Arata completed the comeback with an equalizer injury time to stun the hosts and send Okayama’s traveling support delirious.

Gamba Osaka couldn’t capitalize on their Kansai neighbours’ slip up as the were held at home by Gainare Tottori. Gainare took a shock lead just before the hour when Yuichi Kubo headed them in front but Leandro leveled things up 15 minutes from the end. Gamba couldn’t muster a winner and were left to hear exactly what their fans thought about the performance (hint: it wasn’t pleasant). Tochigi SC moved up into third place as they won 2-0 at Giravanz Kitakyushu. Brazilian forward Sabia scored both of their goals in the second half including a header from a Yusuke Kondo cross. The quietly impressive Tochigi have now won 5 of their last 6 and look like they will be up there for the forseeable future. The defeat leaves Giravanz in serious trouble at the bottom of the table.

Kyoto Sanga and JEF United played out an enthralling 3-3 draw at Nishikyogoku. Kyoto went two nil up thanks to goals from Yuya Kubo and Yokotani only for JEF to score twice before half time through Yonekura & Kempes. JEF went in front when Yusuke Tanaka toe-poked the ball past Kyoto keeper Oh but they couldn’t hold on to the lead and Bajalica equalized for the hosts with 5 minutes left, scoring after a bit of pinball in the JEF area.

FC Gifu drew 1-1 with Montedio Yamagata in Gifu. Read more about that game here. Matsumoto Yamaga got their season back on track with a 1-0 against Avispa Fukuoka in Kyushu. A single goal by Tamabayashi, just before half time, was enough for the visitors although Avispa will feel aggrieved at not getting anything out of the game as they just as many chances as Yamaga.

Thespa Kusatsu Gunma scored four second half goals to triumph over Tokushima Vortis. Yuya Osaki put Vortis in the lead, but two goals from Ryuichi Hirashige and one apiece from Masuda and Segawa gave the Gunma club a much needed win. Segawa’s goal was a very nice strike, lashing into the top corner from the corner of the box. The win snapped a six game losing streak for Thespa and will give them a much needed confidence boost. Another team that will have received a confidence boost is Roasso Kumamoto who won 3-1 in a wild, wet and windy Hokkaido against Consadole Sapporo. Sapporo were in front at half time but a Hayato Nakama strike brought the visitors level as he took advantage of weather-caused confusion in the Sapporo box. Roasso went in front when Consa ‘keeper Sugiyama palmed a Yuji Yabu free-kick on to the helpless Tatsuya Nara and the ball went in. The second own goal came two minutes from time when Ryota Matsumoto diverted in a cross from the left.

In Toyama, a late Yudai Nishikawa goal canceled out Satoshi Tokiwa’s opener to ensure the game between Kataller Toyama and Tokyo Verdy finished 1-1. The draw means Verdy are unbeaten in 10 games.

Mito Hollyhock came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with visitors Yokohama FC at K’s Denki stadium. Yokohama went ahead through a Yuto Takeoka penalty, and doubled their lead through Nozaki. Mito were given hope when Takayuki Suzuki converted a penalty on 80 mins and Tsukasa Ozawa bundled in Mito’s second with 5 minutes remaining.

In the one game played today (Monday) V-Varen Nagasaki beat Ehime FC 2-0 to move up to third in the J2 table. Early goals from Kohei Yamada & Koichi Sato were enough for the visitors at the Ningineer Stadium.

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