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Monday, Sept. 21, 2009

JEF keeps fire alive with late draw

Kyodo News

JEF United Chiba kept its survival hopes alive with a late goal in a 2-2 draw with Vissel Kobe on Sunday, while in the day's only other J. League action Kashiwa Reysol spurned a chance to move out of the bottom three by allowing Sanfrecce Hiroshima to snatch a late equalizer.

In Kobe, Park Kang Jo gave the hosts the lead with a goal in the seventh minute, and after Brazilian forward Neto Baiano had pulled Chiba level from the spot in the 33rd, the Korean struck again to put Vissel back in the driving seat.

With things looking bleak for the J. League strugglers, manager Atsuhiko Ejiri rang the changes with three substitutions, and the shakeup paid dividends when Kohei Kudo struck in the 87th minute to grab a share of the spoils for Chiba.

In the day's earlier kickoff, Reysol were looking all set to lift themselves out of the relegation zone, defender Yusuke Murakami having put them ahead against Hiroshima in the 52nd minute. But the hosts let three points slip from their grasp with just seven minutes left as Ryota Moriwaki popped up with an equalizer.

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