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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Leading clubs struggle in Nabisco Cup's last eight

Kyodo News

Kashima Antlers edged Kawasaki Frontale 1-0 in the first leg of the Nabisco Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday night.

News photo
Pitched battle: Shimizu S-Pulse forward Shinji Okazaki fights for the ball with Urawa Reds defender Yuki Abe in the first half of a Nabisco Cup quarterfinal in Saitama on Wednesday. KYODO PHOTO

Former Japan midfielder Mitsuo Ogasawara headed the clincher six minutes from time on a night of contrasting fortunes for the J. League's heavyweights.

Gamba Osaka's recent woes continued with a 3-1 defeat at home to Yokohama F Marinos, former Japan international Naoki Matsuda sealing victory in the 86th minute at Expo Stadium, while Nagoya Grampus suffered their second defeat in quick succession at FC Tokyo.

In-form Naohiro Ishikawa, instrumental in Tokyo's 3-0 league win over Nagoya at the weekend, was on target for the sixth game in a row in a 5-1 thrashing at Ajinomoto Stadium, while goals from Marcus Tulio Tanaka and Edmilson gave Urawa Reds a 2-1 win at home to Shimizu S-Pulse.

J. League leaders Kashima, Kawasaki, Gamba and Nagoya were given a bye into the quarterfinals because of their involvement in the Asian Champions League.

Takahashi sacked

KASHIWA , Chiba Pref. (Kyodo) Struggling Kashiwa Reysol formally released manager Shinichiro Takahashi on Wednesday and said they are in the final stages of talks to bring in Brazilian Nelsinho in a bid to turn the team's fortunes around.

"We are in negotiations but still in the final stages. Until it is decided, (assistant coach Masami) Ihara will act as team manager," said Kashiwa club president Shinjiro Kasai.

World Cup strike ends

JOHANNESBURG (AP) World Cup construction workers and employers are preparing to sign a wage deal ending a weeklong strike.

Workers agreed on a pay increase of 12 percent, below the earlier demand of 13 percent. Work at sites across South Africa is to resume on Thursday.

Workers earn a minimum wage of about $300 a month but some casual laborers can take home less than $100 dollars.

About 70,000 workers began striking last Wednesday, stopping work on projects that are scheduled to be finished by December for the 2010 World Cup.

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