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Sunday, Aug. 5, 2007

Okubo sparks J. West to late triumph in All-Star match

FUKUROI, Shizuoka Pref. (Kyodo) Vissel Kobe striker Yoshito Okubo scored a last-minute winner as J. West came back from two goals down to beat J. East 3-2 in the J. League All-Star match on Saturday.

News photo
J. West forward Hisato Sato of Sanfrecce Hiroshima heads in an equalizer in the 78th minute of the J. League All-Star match on Saturday at Ecopa Stadium in Shizuoka. J. West won 3-2. KYODO PHOTO

Man of the Match Okubo headed home a cross from Albirex Niigata defender Masataka Sakamoto in the dying minutes after J. West equalized through Japan and Sanfrecce Hiroshima forward Hisato Sato in the 79th minute.

Urawa Reds midfielder Shinji Ono set up both goals for J. East, including a corner that led to a first-half own goal by popular Jubilo Iwata veteran Masashi Nakayama in front of his local supporters at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa.

Kazuki Ganaha of Kawasaki Frontale made it 2-0 before a Nakayama header late in the first half sparked a comeback by J. West, which also featured the likes of Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi and Yasuhito Endo.

The All-Star match was played after the J. League restarted Wednesday with a clash between Urawa Reds and Sanfrecce Hiroshima following a one-month break for Japan's Asian Cup campaign.

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