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Monday, Aug. 17, 2009

Marcio Richardes' rescues a point for Niigata

SHIZUOKA (Kyodo) Marcio Richardes struck a late equalizer to rescue a point for Albirex Niigata in a 1-1 draw away to Shimizu S-Pulse in the J-League on Sunday.

Shinji Okazaki got on the end of Daisuke Ichikawa's cross to head in his 11th goal of the season after 34 minutes at Outsourcing Stadium. Shimizu continued to dictate the pace but paid the price for not making the most of their opportunities as Marcio Richardes leveled with a free kick 13 minutes from time.

The result left Niigata in third place in the table on 36 points from 21 games, 11 points behind leaders Kashima Antlers.

Kashima continued their march toward an unprecedented third consecutive league crown with a 1-0 win at home to bottom club Oita Trinita on Saturday, the victory preserving their eight-point cushion at the top of the table and pushing Oita further toward the relegation trapdoor in the process.

In Sunday's other games, FC Tokyo played out a scoreless draw at home to Yokohama F Marinos, while an own goal earned Omiya Ardija a share of the spoils against Jubilo Iwata after Norihiro Nishi had opened the scoring for the visitors in the 26th minute in a 1-1 draw at Kumagaya stadium.

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