J1 Recap: Tempers flare in Yokohama; Sanfrecce cruise

Stormy weather across parts of Japan translated into rough behavior on the pitch in Wednesday’s MEIJI YASUDA J1 League action, with no fewer than three clubs ending the evening reduced to 10 men.

Jubilo Iwata dominated at Yokohama F. Marinos, amassing a 3-0 lead by the hour mark through a 37th-minute opener by Takuya Matsuura and a pair of goals by Taishi Taguchi in the 42nd and 58th minutes.

While the hosts appeared to have little chance of a comeback even after Teruhito Kagawa’s 74th-minute consolation, the pitch was thrown into turmoil after Jubilo’s Guilherme was shown a second yellow card in the 80th minute for a reckless challenge on goalkeeper Hiroki Iikura. The Brazilian lashed out at anyone within reach as teammates attempted to guide him off the pitch, landing a kick on F. Marinos midfielder Takuya Kida and sparking a near-brawl when he entered into an altercation with an interpreter for the home side.

Ange Postecoglou’s side were unable to reduce the deficit further despite the man advantage, and victorious head coach Hiroshi Nanami promised severe punishment for his foreign defender after the match.

Shinzo Koroki gave Urawa Reds manager Oswaldo Oliveira his first win in charge with both goals in the club’s 2-0 win at Kawasaki Frontale. One minute after using their final substitution, the defending J1 champions were forced to give defender Tatsuki Nara the goalkeeper shirt after Jung Sung-ryong was shown a straight red for a flagrant foul near the centre line on Reds attacker Andrew Nabbout. The South Korean goalkeeper will now be absent for Saturday’s key Tamagawa Clasico encounter against second place FC Tokyo, who languidly fought Vissel Kobe to a scoreless draw at Noevir Stadium.

The result in Kobe allowed Sanfrecce Hiroshima to expand their league lead to eight points in a 2-0 win over Shimizu S-Pulse and 2017 manager Jan Jönsson. Brazilian ace Patric netted his seventh of the year from close range in the 17th minute, while teammate Yoshifumi Kashiwa sealed the result with a tremendous right-footed shot from the edge of the box early in the second half. With nine clean sheets from the first 12 rounds, Sanfrecce boast the league’s best defense at just five goals allowed.

Sanfrecce and Tokyo were joined in the top three by Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, who rallied for a 2-1 come-from-behind win at Sagan Tosu behind Julinho’s double. With his first goals of the season, the 31-year-old extended Consadole’s unbeaten streak to a club-best nine matches under new manager Mihailo Petrovic, while handing woeful Sagan their seventh straight loss.

As the Golden Week holiday period rolls on, the J1’s 13th round will take place this weekend on March 5 and 6.

Full Results: 2018 J1 Round 12

Kashima Antlers 2-1 V-Varen Nagasaki

Kawasaki Frontale 0-2 Urawa Reds

Yokohama F. Marinos 1-3 Jubilo Iwata

Shonan Bellmare 1-2 Kashiwa Reysol

Nagoya Grampus 0-0 Cerezo Osaka

Gamba Osaka 1-0 Vegalta Sendai

Vissel Kobe 0-0 FC Tokyo

Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-0 Shimizu S-Pulse

Sagan Tosu 1-2 Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo