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Sunday, March 21, 2004

Gral's double lifts Jubilo

Brazilian striker Rodrigo Gral scored his first league goals of the season as Jubilo Iwata came from behind to beat Nagoya Grampus Eight 3-1 away in the J. League first division on Saturday.

News photo
Shizuoka - Kashima Antlers midfielder Mitsuo Ogasawara battles Shimizu S-Pulse midfielder Keisuke Ota for the ball during their J. League match on Saturday at Nihondaira Stadium.

Nagoya took the lead courtesy of a Marques header in the 11th minute at Toyota Stadium, but veteran striker Masashi Nakayama equalized before Gral doubled the visitors' advantage in the 33rd minute.

Gral, Iwata's top scorer last season, scored his second from the penalty spot in a bad-tempered affair that saw six Nagoya players booked and sealed the win to maintain his side's perfect start to the season after two first-stage games.

Four-time J. League champion Kashima Antlers, tipped as strong contenders for the title this season, also came from behind to pick up their first win of the season with a 2-1 victory at Shimizu S-Pulse.

The home side went ahead through Araujo's header after 25 minutes but Masaki Fukai leveled early in the second period, before Japan international striker Masashi Motoyama struck the winner just after the hour at Nihondaira Stadium.

In Saturday's evening game, Brazilian striker Marquinhos scored against his old club as JEF United stunned the J. League champion Yokohama F. Marinos 3-0 in Ichihara.

Yuto Sato capitalized on a botched clearance from Akihiro Endo to fire Ichihara in front with a superb strike and Marquinhos, who helped Yokohama to a two-stage double last year, headed home a Masataka Sakamoto cross three minutes after the break. Sandro rounded off the scoring with a late penalty.

Elsewhere, Magrao's close-range effort in the 38th minute proved decisive in Gamba Osaka's 1-0 at home to J-1 returnee Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

Oita Trinita bounced back from an opening-day defeat to edge FC Tokyo 2-1. Albirex Niigata against Vissel Kobe finished goalless.

In Saturday's evening game, defending J. League champion Yokohama F. Marinos visits JEF United Ichihara.

Sunday's matches see Tokyo Verdy host Kashiwa Reysol while Urawa Reds entertain Cerezo Osaka.



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