Kashiwa keep J.League lead
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Junya Tanaka and Hideaki Kitajima fired a couple of beautiful goals to give Kashiwa Reysol a 2-0 win over Yokohama Marinos on today as they maintained the J.League lead.

Tanaka sent a cross to the goal mouth, but the rebound came back to him and he hit an angled 11-metre shot into the net to open the scoring in the 26th minute with his fourth goal of the season. In the 37th minute, defender Hiroaki Sakai sent a cross into the area, where Kitajima dived for a header to make it 2-0.

"I had expected it to be a difficult game, but we took the first goal in a very good pattern. It allowed us to get into our rhythm. I'm glad that it went in," said Tanaka.

Kashiwa's Brazilian coach Nelsinho also expected a difficult game, but added: "We were able to play as we had planned. We were careful for Shunsuke Nakamura's counter-attacks."

Kashiwa have now seven wins, one draw and one defeat for 22 points, four points above Sanfrecce Hiroshima, five ahead of Vegalta Sendai and seven clear of Yokohama.

I had expected it to be a difficult game, but we took the first goal in a very good pattern. It allowed us to get into our rhythm.
Junya Tanaka, Kashiwa Reysol striker

Japan international striker Hisato Sato gave Hiroshima a 1-0 win with a last-minute goal against Albirex Niigata, while Sendai remained unbeaten this season with a 1-1 draw with Vissel Kobe.

In other games, Japan international striker Keiji Tamada also scored a decider with only one minute left on the clock to give defending champions Nagoya Grampus a 1-0 win over Jubilo Iwata.

Cerezo Osaka, the only Japanese team to reach the AFC Champions League quarter-finals, whipped bottom placed Avispa Fukuoka 3-0, while seven-time champions Kashima Antlers blanked Montedio Yamagata 2-0.

Other games were all 2-2 draws between Kawasaki Frontale and Ventforet Kofu, Urawa Red Diamonds and Omiya Ardija, and Gamba Osaka and Shimizu S-Pulse.