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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Marinos edge struggling Trinita

OITA (Kyodo) Yokohama F. Marinos sentenced struggling Oita Trinita to their eighth league defeat in succession with a 2-1 win at Kyushu Dome on Saturday.

News photo
On the pull: Kyoto's Lee Jung Soo and FC Tokyo's Sota Hirayama tussle during their 0-0 draw on Saturday. KYODO PHOTO

Oita took the lead thanks to a blunder from Marinos goalkeeper Hiroki Iikura, but goals from Yuji Nakazawa and Yusuke Tanaka turned the game around and the visitors held on to claim their first away win of the campaign.

"Oita have been on a losing run, and we struggled to deal with their pressure at times, but in the end we did well to hold on," said Marinos manager Kokichi Kimura.

Iikura gifted Oita the lead on 17 minutes when he made a hash of a seemingly innocuous shot from Edmilson before Nakazawa spared his blushes with the equalizer just after the half-hour mark.

Shusaku Nishikawa pulled off a flying save from Kenta Kano but Marinos leveled from the resulting corner, with Nakazawa pouncing to prod home after Nishikawa had blocked Kazuma Watanabe's header.

Tanaka made it 2-1 four minutes before the break with what turned out to be the winner, darting onto Naoki Matsuda's deep pass and calmly slotting past Nishikawa.

Shingo Suzuki went close with a free kick on 68 minutes, and Mu Kanazaki spurned a great chance to put Oita back in the game when he blazed over seconds later.

In other games, in-form South Korean striker Lee Keun Ho scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season and set up the other for Norihiro Nishi as Jubilo Iwata beat Omiya Ardija 3-1, while Seiichiro Maki's goal earned JEF United Chiba a 2-1 win over Sanfrecce Hiroshima. FC Tokyo played out a 0-0 draw at home to Kyoto Sanga.

In Saturday's evening fixture, Kisho Yano's 61st-minute strike saw Albirex Niigata snap a three-match winless streak with a 1-0 victory away to Montedio Yamagata.

In Sunday's matches, leaders Urawa Reds host Kawasaki Frontale, reigning champions Kashima Antlers meet Shimizu S-Pulse, Gamba Osaka entertain Kashiwa Reysol and Vissel Kobe are at home to Nagoya Grampus.

Henry may miss final

BARCELONA , Spain (AP) Barcelona striker Thierry Henry may miss the Champions League final against Manchester United because of a knee injury.

The club said Friday he strained a ligament in his right knee and will miss Barcelona's next four games, including Wednesday's Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao.

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