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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Reds edge Yamagata

TENDO, Yamagata Pref. (Kyodo) Resurgent striker Naohiro Takahara scored twice as Urawa Reds made up ground on leaders Kashima Antlers with a 3-2 victory away to Montedio Yamagata in the J. League on Saturday.

Takahara headed the winner seven minutes from time to close the gap on Kashima, albeit for 24 hours at least, to seven points, while Albirex Niigata also improved to 31 points from 16 games after cruising to a 4-0 win at lowly Kashiwa Reysol.

Kashima (38) will be looking to extend its winning streak to nine league matches when it visits Asian Champions League quarterfinalists Kawasaki Frontale (30) on Sunday.

At the bottom of the table there was more misery for Oita Trinita as JEF United Chiba won 2-1 at Kyushu Oil Dome to condemn the first-division whipping boys to their 13th consecutive league defeat.

Elsewhere, Japan striker Shinji Okazaki scored twice but Shimizu S-Pulse was held 3-3 at home to Kyoto Sanga, Lee Jung Soo snatching a late equalizer for the visitors, while red-hot Naohiro Ishikawa scored his ninth goal of the season in FC Tokyo's 2-0 win at Vissel Kobe.

Omiya Ardija against Yokohama F. Marinos finished goalless.

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