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Monday, Oct. 11, 2010

News photo
Final reckoning: Sanfrecce Hiroshima's Tadanari Lee stretches for the ball on Sunday. KYODO PHOTO

Sanfrecce, Jubilo advance to Nabisco Cup final

SHIZUOKA (Kyodo) Sanfrecce Hiroshima reached their first Nabisco Cup final after holding former champions S-Pulse to a 1-1 draw at Shimizu on Sunday.

Sanfrecce went through 3-2 on aggregate to the Nov. 3 final at Tokyo's National Stadium, where they will face Jubilo Iwata, who defeated Kawasaki Frontale 3-1 at Todoroki Stadium for a 3-2 victory over the two legs.

Jubilo lifted the league cup in 1998, and will make their fifth trip to the autumn showpiece for the first time in nine years.

At Outsourcing Stadium, Satoru Yamagishi handed Hiroshima the lead in the 64th minute with a crucial away goal that left the hosts in need of two goals to at least force extra time.

Shinji Ono made it 1-1 three minutes from time for Kenta Hasegawa's side, but S-Pulse, who have fallen 13 points behind leaders Nagoya Grampus in the J. League with nine games left, came up short of reaching their fifth final.

"I thought I hit the ball well," Yamagishi said. "I've been through a lot in my career with injuries and what not, but life's not all that bad."

"I would have liked to have played Kawasaki in the final," the former Japanese international said, referring to his old team.

"We were lucky. Shimizu deserved the victory," Hiroshima coach Mihailo Petrovic said. "But while we may have been lucky, we played well enough to make use of our luck."

France beats Romania

SAINT-DENIS , France (AP) Substitutes Loic Remy and Yoann Gourcuff scored late for France to beat Romania 2-0 to move top of its group in European Championship qualifying on Saturday.

Remy latched onto a brilliant pass over the top of the defense from midfielder Alou Diarra, took one touch to cushion the ball and struck a powerful shot into the bottom left corner in the 83rd minute.

Victory over Luxembourg on Tuesday would give France a third straight win and consolidate first place in Group D.

"We're starting to create something, it's starting to bear fruit," France coach Laurent Blanc said. "There will be difficult times ahead, qualifying is long, but for now we're going to savor this."

France has six points and Blanc's team is one point ahead of Albania and Belarus.

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