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Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2004

Emerson nets hat trick

Brazilian striker Emerson grabbed a hat trick Tuesday as second-stage winners Urawa Reds deepened Kashiwa Reysol's relegation worries with a 4-0 away win in the J. League first division.

News photo
Urawa Reds forward Emerson scores the first of his three goals against Kashiwa Reysol during a J. League match Tuesday at Kashiwa Stadium. The second-stage champion Reds won 4-0.

Urawa got back to winning ways after claiming its first-ever stage title despite a 2-1 defeat at home to Nagoya on Saturday and left Kashiwa's fate to the last weekend of the season.

Kashiwa, who had Mitsuru Nagata sent off early in the second half, is just one point clear of bottom-placed Cerezo Osaka in the two-stage standings after Cerezo claimed a vital 2-1 win at home to Shimizu S-Pulse.

Ichiei Muroi set the wheels in motion for Urawa with the opener on five minutes and Emerson doubled the visitors' advantage in the 51st minute before Nagata was given his marching orders following a second yellow card.

Emerson made it three in the 63rd minute and rifled home from 20 meters to complete the rout with his 27th goal of the season six minutes from time.

At Nagai Stadium, Cerezo survived another day thanks to first-half goals from Kiyokazu Kudo and Tatsuya Furuhashi. Shimizu replied through Kota Sugiyama on the stroke of halftime but Cerezo held on for the win.

The bottom team in J1 will face the third-place finisher in the second division for a place in the top flight in a two-leg playoff.

Kota Yoshihara set up one and scored another as Cerezo's neighbor Gamba Osaka stayed second in the table after a 2-1 win at Jubilo Iwata while second-stage winners Yokohama F. Marinos lost 2-1 at home to Albirex Niigata.

Injury-ravaged Yokohama faces Urawa in the two-leg J. League Championship final next month.

In other games, Takuya Nozawa scored the winner as Kashima Antlers beat 10-man Tokyo Verdy 1-0, FC Tokyo and JEF United Ichihara shared the points after a 3-3 thriller, Vissel Kobe beat Nagoya Grampus Eight 2-1 and Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Oita Trinita drew 0-0.

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