Marinos leave it late, Kashiwa lead way
Korea Republic defender Kim Kun-Hoan scored an injury-time winner to give Yokohama F Marinos a dramatic 2-1 win over Montedio Yamagata in the J.League today.
With nearly five minutes of injury time played, Kim headed home the winner from a cross by midfielder Shingo Hyodo.
Yokohama only took 15 seconds to open the scoring through Kazuma Watanabe, who neatly collected a pass through the centre of the field and struck home from just outside the area.
Kohei Miyazaki levelled the game in the 57th minute with a shot from the right that hit Japan international defender Yuji Nakazawa and spun into the Yokohama net. But Kim was on hand to steal the points for Yokohama.
"Before the game, I thought 'I really want to beat Yamagata much more than any other team'. I'm really happy that we gave Yokohama this win. Our team's atmosphere was better than usual," said a jubilant Kim.
It is the first time in seven years that Yokohama have posted five straight wins. They now have 33 points, to stay within a point of leaders Kashiwa Reysol, who stormed back from going a goal down to beat Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3-1.
Gamba Osaka trail the top two teams on 29 points, followed by defending champions Nagoya Grampus and Kawasaki Frontale on 27 points each.
Gamba Osaka beat Vissel Kobe 3-2, while Nagoya defeated seven-time former champions Kashima Antlers 2-1. Kawasaki crashed to Urawa Red Diamonds 2-0, giving Urawa only their third win in 16 games.
In other games, Jubilo Iwata came back from a goal down twice to beat Cerezo Osaka 3-2, while bottom-placed Avispa Fukuoka recorded their second win by beating Omiya Ardija 1-0. Vegalta Sendai and Shimizu S-Pulse played out a goalless draw.