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The J-League's Golden Week Sprint was productive for struggling clubs as Vissel Kobe and Kawasaki Frontale also recorded their first victories since changing managers

ANALYSIS
By Dan Orlowitz

Results

Consadole Sapporo 1-0 Cerezo Osaka, Vissel Kobe 3-0 Omiya Ardija, Kawasaki Frontale 4-3 Jubilo Iwata, Sanfrecce Hiroshima 0-1 Albirex Niigata, Sagan Tosu 1-1 Vegalta Sendai, Urawa Reds 1-2 Yokohama F. Marinos, Shimizu S-Pulse 3-0 Kashima Antlers (FC Tokyo - Kashiwa Reysol and Gamba Osaka - Nagoya Grampus to be played on June 27)

THE WEEKEND STORIES

Consadole Sapporo joined the rest of the league in recording their first victory of the season against visiting Cerezo Osaka. The hosts took the lead at Atsubetsu Stadium with a 25th-minute goal by Yusuke Kondo, while Cerezo appeared sluggish as they struggled to mount an effective counter.

In Kansai, Vissel needed just three minutes to take the lead against Omiya Ardija after Keijiro Ogawa's goal, which Lee Kwang-Seon and Hiroto Mogi followed up with strikes of their own for a 3-0 result under new caretaker manager Ryo Adachi.

Frontale also found their pacing under new coach Yahiro Kazama with a 4-3 win over Jubilo Iwata. The hosts dominated 4-1 after the hour mark on goals by Ryota Oshima and Yusuke Tanaka in addition to Takuro Yajima's brace. Jubilo fought back with two goals from Kosuke Yamamoto and an additional-time strike by Yoshiro Abe, but it was not enough to complete a comeback.

In the day's highest-attended match, much-maligned Brazilian striker Marquinhos in his first appearance of the season gave Yokohama F. Marinos the late winner in their 2-1 win at Urawa Reds. The visitors had taken the early lead through Manabu Saito's effort, but Reds defender Tomoaki Makino drew the hosts level in the 78th minute.

THE STANDINGS | Top Four

  P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Vegalta Sendai 9 7 2 0 20 7 +13 23
2 Shimizu S-Pulse 9 6 0 3 13 9 +4 18
3 S. Hiroshima 9 5 1 3 14 7 +7 16
4 Urawa Reds 9 5 1 3 12 9 +3 16

PLAYER OF THE WEEKEND

Toshiyuki Takagi

Shimizu S-Pulse

The 20-year-old continues to impress, scoring his team's second goal and assisting in the third as S-Pulse marched to an easy 3-0 win over Kashima Antlers. The goal was Takagi's fourth in eight appearances and his performances have been a big factor behind S-Pulse's perfect record at home so far this season and subsequent rise to second place in the standings.
QUOTES OF THE WEEKEND

"It was a nice game."
-Japan national team coach alberto Zaccheroni, who observed Frontale's 4-3 win over Jubilo alongside Under-23 coach Takashi Sekizuka

"[Marinos] were sharper in the first half. We were always one or two steps behind."
-Urawa Reds manager Mihail Petrovic after the team's 2-1 loss against the Yokohama side

"I gave the starting lineup to [chief manager] Takuya Kishimoto and told him to write it down as he liked. Perhaps our opponents would think that our system changed...?"
-Vissel Kobe caretaker manager Ryo Adachi, explaining why the team sheet showed a 2-7-1 formation

THE NUMBERS
5 - Number of goals allowed by fifth-place Sagan Tosu; the lowest in the league so far
34 - Referee Hiroyki Kimura has handed out 34 yellow cards so far this season, averaging nearly 6 per match
1390 -
Number of days between Consadole's last J1 win (July 13 2008) and last night's victory
44,422
- Attendance at Thursday's Reds-Marinos match was the highest in the league so far this season

PHOTO OF THE WEEKEND

Last-minute hero | Marquinhos salutes visiting fans after his late goal gave Marinos a 2-1 win

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