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Thursday, June 8, 2006

Kawasaki edges out Urawa in Cup

KAWASAKI (Kyodo) Juninho scored a second-half winner Wednesday as J. League leader Kawasaki Frontale beat Urawa Reds 2-1 at home and advanced to the semifinals of the J. League Nabisco Cup on the away goal rule.

News photo
Urawa Reds striker Washington kicks a penalty during a Nabisco Cup quarterfinal match against Kawasaki Frontale on Wednesday.

Kawasaki, which lost 4-3 at Urawa in the first leg last Saturday, booked its place in the semifinals for the first time in six years and set up a meeting with Yokohama F. Marinos or Jubilo Iwata.

In the only Nabisco Cup match played Wednesday, Kawasaki went ahead after 13 minutes when Kazuki Ganaha lashed home a rebound past Urawa goalkeeper Norihiro Yamagishi after good work on the left by Brazilian midfielder Marcao

Urawa, the 2003 League Cup winner, then went in front on aggregate with a 32nd-minute penalty converted by Washington after the Brazilian striker was brought down in the box.

But the home side deservedly regained the lead on the night on a 54th-minute strike from Juninho, who made no mistake from a close range after Hiroyuki Taniguchi headed a throw-in from Marcao into the path of the Brazilian striker.

Urawa, playing without key players in the World Cup squad, threw forward from then on and came close to scoring when Nobuhisa Yamada hit the crossbar with a mid-range shot midway through the second half.

On Thursday, Iwatas host Yokohama and holder JEF United Chiba welcomes Cerezo Osaka. Kashima Antlers travel to Gamba Osaka, which had a bye into the last eight due to its involvement in the Asian Champions League.

Yokohama and Chiba won their first-leg matches while Kashima and Gamba played to a scoreless draw last weekend.

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