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Sunday, April 13, 2003

J. LEAGUE DIVISION ONE

Kubo's strike sends Yokohama top

Tatsuhiko Kubo celebrated his recall to the Japan squad by scoring his first goal for Yokohama F. Marinos as his new club beat Tokyo Verdy 3-0 to go top of the J. League first division on Saturday.

News photo
Toshiya Fujita (left) of Jubilo scores in the 59th minute to give Iwata a 1-0 win over the Urawa Reds in Saturday's J. League Division One game.

Meanwhile, Daiki Takamatsu struck twice as second-division winner Oita Trinita sealed its first-ever win in the top flight with a 3-2 victory at home to Gamba Osaka, while defending champion Jubilo Iwata also bagged its first three points of the season after beating the Urawa Reds.

Given his first call-up to the national squad in 11 months for Wednesday's match against South Korea, Kubo capped a great week by scoring his first goal in five games since transferring from relegated Sanfrecce Hiroshima before the start of the season.

Kubo volleyed in a Dutra cross on the stroke of half time with substitute Norihisa Shimizu twice beating the offside trap in the second half to seal a comfortable win.

Yokohama moved on to seven points and took over the lead in the early standings after JEF United Ichihara lost 3-0 to Vissel Kobe.

Ryuji Bando struck once in each half and Oseas also scored as Kobe handed Ichihara its first defeat of the season.

Oita had lost both its opening fixtures without getting on the scoresheet but Takamatsu put them in front in the fourth minute at Oita Big Eye Stadium, although Toru Araiba leveled the scores just after the half hour.

Takamatsu restored the lead seven minutes after the break with Brazilian defender Sandro heading in a third four minutes later and although substitute Satoshi Nakayama pulled one back for the visitors, Gamba missed a second-half penalty and Oita held on for the three points.

Toshiya Fujita bagged the only goal of the game as Iwata, which secured the first-ever two-stage double last season, defeated Urawa Reds in a downpour at Iwata stadium.

Elsewhere, FC Tokyo held Cerezo Osaka to a goalless draw at Nagai Stadium while Kashiwa Reysol beat Kyoto Purple Sanga 1-0 thanks to a 10th minute goal from Ricardinho.



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