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Monday, April 7, 2003

Purple Sanga blanks Vissel 2-0

Shinya Tomita sent Kyoto Purple Sanga on their way to their first victory of the season with a 41st-minute strike as the Emperor's Cup champion beat local rival Vissel Kobe 2-0 in the J. League first division on Sunday.

Daisuke Nakaharai wrapped up the three points with a second in injury time with Sunday's only other game between Urawa Reds and Nagoya Grampus Eight ending in a scoreless draw.

Kyoto bounced back after an opening-day defeat to Gamba Osaka with Tomita opening the scoring at Kobe Wing Stadium just before the break.

The 22-year-old capitalized on a weak clearance by Kobe goalkeeper Makoto Kakegawa and curled a 20-meter shot into the top corner.

Kobe's Brazilian midfielder Harison was sent off for hacking down substitute Yusuke Mori a minute from time and Nakaharai then sealed the victory with a fine individual goal.

Without former Brazil forward Edmundo -- who quit the club last week -- and with strike partner Emerson still not fully fit, Urawa struggled up front and it was Nagoya who went closest to breaking the deadlock at Komaba Stadium.

Chikara Fujimoto saw a header hit the post at the start of the second half and Ueslei was denied seconds from the end by a good save from Urawa keeper Norihiro Yamagishi and Grampus had to settle for a second straight draw.

JEF United Ichihara thrashed Oita Trinita 4-0 on Saturday and is one of only two teams with a maximum six points after the opening two first-stage games along with four-time champion Kashima Antlers, who beat Kashiwa Reysol 2-1.

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