Urawa Red Diamonds end bad run
Urawa Red Diamonds put an end to a terrible run of form by beating Montedio Yamagata 4-1. Urawa, who had suffered seven straight defeats, took an early lead when forward Sergio Escudero collected a clumsy clearance from defender Tatsuya Ishikawa to fire the opener in the fourth minute.
In the 21st minute, forward Edmilson was brought down in the box and midfielder Ponte duly netted the penalty. Tatsuya Furuhashi pulled one back for Yamagata in the 25th minute.
Urawa dominated the second half, allowing Yamagata to hit only a few shots on goal and Hajime Hosogai made it 3-1 in the 75th minute. Brazilian-born Japan international defender Marcus Tulio Tanaka scored after unleashing a shot that hit midfielder Takuya Miyamoto and landed in the net in the 86th minute.
"Finally we won. Today's win is very important. We'd been losing for a long time and we were eager to take three points from a win," said Urawa's German coach Volker Finke.
"We created so many scoring chances and we missed some of them. It was not so easy as the score indicates. Especially, it was tough when we lost a goal while we led 2-0.
"We were a bit nervous because we'd lost seven games in a row, but I'm really glad that we made it at last," he said.
In the only other game on Sunday, regular bottom placers Oita Trinita defeated Jubilo Iwata 2-1 with Daisuke Takahashi scoring the game-deciding goal in the 57th minute.
On Saturday, a top-of-the-table battle between leaders Kashima Antlers and Kawasaki Frontale was halted because of heavy rain when Kawasaki were leading 3-1. J-League officials will decide on the re-match next week.
Kashima remain top of the league with 50 points, ahead of Kawasaki, Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Shimizu S-Pulse on 43 points, and Gamba Osaka on 42 points.