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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kawasaki strikes twice late to down Antlers

Kyodo News

Two goals in the first half of extra-time helped Kawasaki Frontale overturn a first-leg deficit and end Kashima Antlers' Nabisco Cup ambitions Wednesday, after Brazilian forward Juninho had leveled the quarterfinal tie with a stunning strike with the last kick of regulation time.

News photo
Celebration: Kawasaki Frontale forward Juninho (10) celebrates his goal with fans during the second half of Wednesday's Nabisco Cup quarterfinal match against Kashima Antlers. Frontale won 3-0 to advance to the semis. KYODO PHOTO

Trailing 1-0 from the July 15 encounter, Kawasaki could have put the tie back on level terms at the outset when Takuro Yajima rose to meet Juninho's 4th-minute cross at point blank range, but he failed entirely to connect.

Five minutes from time Ogasawara could have won it for the Antlers when he broke clear in the box, only to curl the ball wide.

Kashima were still sitting pretty as the clock wound down, but with only seconds remaining Juninho collected the ball just inside the area and sent a superbly angled drive into the top corner.

Kawasaki wasted little time in putting the game to bed in extra-time, with substitute striker Renatinho rising majestically to head home in the 4th minute and Chong Tese creating space for himself to rifle in a shot from 20 meters.

In Shimizu, the S-Pulse repeated the trick, overturning a 2-1 first-leg deficit to advance to the semis with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Urawa. Nagoya Grampus exacted a measure of revenge for their 5-1 drubbing by FC Tokyo two weeks ago with a 2-1 win, courtesy of goals from Yuki Maki and Maya Yoshida, but it was not enough to stop Tokyo going through 6-3 on aggregate, a goal from Sota Hirayama five minutes from time effectively making the point.

Likewise Gamba Osaka battled to a 2-1 win at Yokohama, but it was not enough to compensate for a first-leg 3-1 defeat at home, Yokohama going through 4-3 on aggregate

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