Urawa Reds have provided the shock result of section 2 of the 2012 J -League season. The Reds got home 1-nil in front of a home crowd of 41069. The Saitama based Reds were under the hammer for the majority of the game, but their resilience was rewarded with a 36th minute goal to Despotovic.
Japanese international Yuki Abe was given man of the match for his efforts at closing down the dangerous Leandro Domingues (Kashiwa’s topscorer in 2011). The fact that the Reds’ goal came as a result of a defensive blunder by Kashiwa means Reds fans shouldn’t get carried away. After a loss to Sanfrecce Hiroshima last week, the Reds needed this win with new manager Mihailo Petrovic saying “I knew this would be a hard match . . . but we prepared for this match and the important thing is how you react to defeat.”
Elsewhere 30764 fans of largely Kansai decent looked on as Cerezo Osaka used up the very last kick (actually a header) of the game in order to deprive derby rivals Gamba of any points. With Gamba equalising from a free kick via Paulinho the first half ended 1-all. However, Cerezo weren’t happy to settle for a draw and the winner came via a Kempes header. The 29 year old Brazilian was able to rise higher than his marker and headed home the sweetest of goals for the pink and blue.
Other results of note:
Hasegawa and Ishikawa steer FC Tokyo to 3-2 victory over Nagoya
83rd minute goal gets Vissel Kobe a 2-1 victory over Consadole Sapporo
Brosque and Shimizu S-Pulse in comfortable 2-1 win over Sanfrecce Hiroshima