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The J-League's first weekend back after the national team intermission resulted in a 3-4-3 formation potent enough to charm Samurai Blue coach Alberto Zaccheroni

J-League

Team Of The Week:

Round 14

Weekly Roundup


GOALKEEPER

Nobuhiro Kato
Urawa Reds
Despite a rough first half, Kato calmed down in allowing his team to stage a remarkable second-half comeback against their arch-rivals. Though several other goalkeepers kept a clean sheet, the Reds man was by far the biggest contributor to any team between the posts.
DEFENDERS

Naoki Sugai
Vegalta Sendai

Yuzo Kurihara
Yokohama F. Marinos

Yuji Nakazawa
Yokohama F. Marinos


Days after an eventful match with the national team, Kurihara returned to his club and teamed up with fellow centre-back Nakazawa to smother the usually-potent Tokyo attack. In Sendai, Sugai's constant nose for a goal helped his team-mates as he drew defenders off with his positioning.


MIDFIELDERS
 
Shingo Hyodo
Yokohama F. Marinos
 


Mihael Mikic
Sanfrecce Hiroshima

Atomu Tanaka
Albirex Niigata
 
Yojiro Takahagi
Sanfrecce Hiroshima
 

At midfield, Hyogo demonstrated fantastic technique as he cut through the Tokyo defence before letting loose the game-winning shot at Yokohama Stadium. Mikic once again made the selection with his passing skills, joined by team-mate Takahagi who made his second straight appearance after contributing an assist as well as earning a penalty kick. Tanaka assisted in Albirex's game-winning goal, demonstrating assertive play throughout the match.

FORWARDS

Kensuke Nagai
Nagoya Grampus

Keijiro Ogawa
Vissel Kobe

Atsushi Yanagisawa
Vegalta Sendai

This weekend's front line proved their mettle in front of the goal; Nagai's two scores and one assist helped Grampus to a dramatic win, while Yanagisawa scored at Sendai Stadium for the first time, rocking the net with a header and a well-placed volley.

At front and centre, Ogawa became the third-youngest J-Leaguer to score a hat-trick, on the way demonstrating superb positioning in addition to common-sense finishes.

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