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While players such as Manabu Saito and Kensuke Nagai helped Japan to their first Olympic semi-final in 44 years, their J-League team-mates contributed their own gold medal efforts

J-League

Team Of The Week:

Week 20

Weekly Roundup


GOALKEEPER

Kim Jin-Hyeon
Cerezo Osaka
Kim demonstrated grace under pressure, calmly stopping several early Consadole chances and making several fine shots throughout the match. The Cerezo win was crucial in helping the club avoid the drop zone.
DEFENDERS

Akira Kaji
Gamba Osaka

Kim Kun-Hoan
Sagan Tosu

Takashi Kanai
Yokohama F. Marinos

In his first appearance in three months, Kaji looked like he'd never left the pitch with his steady play, while Kim's speedy defending contributed to a hearty Tosu win. Kanai was forced to start on short notice after an injury to Dutra, but contributed greatly to Marinos' draw with a diving header goal.


MIDFIELDERS

Naoyuki Fujita
Sagan Tosu

Shunsuke Nakamura
Yokohama F. Marinos
                       
Yoshizumi Ogawa
Nagoya Grampus

Takashiro Futagawa
Gamba Osaka

At midfield, Fujita worked hard on both sides of the ball, creating several opportunities for Tosu with his weaponised long throw-ins. Nakamura gave the Marinos attack some bite with his frequent attacks up the right side, and scored a stunning goal in honour of the deceased Naoki Matsuda. Ogawa's perfect form went nearly unrecognised in light of team-mate Tanaka's explosive performance, while Futagawa's clever technique and assertive moves spurred Gamba to victory.

FORWARDS

Leandro
Gamba Osaka

Marcus Tulio Tanaka
Nagoya Grampus

Toshiyuki Takagi
Shimizu S-Pulse
This week's strikers all involved themselves in several goals, beginning with Gamba returnee Leandro. After spending three seasons in Qatar, the Brazilian scored his first goals since re-joining Gamba in a spectacular double. On the left wing, Takagi came on at halftime and would lead 10-man S-Pulse to a stunning upset win over Sanfrecce through his own goal as well as an earned penalty kick.

But the man of the round was undoubtedly Tanaka, whose four goals were a first for a J-League defender. The former Reds man scored not only using his superiority in the air, but also through his clever control and overwhelming post play.

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