Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Nagoya Cement Second Place

Nagoya Grampus opened up a three-point gap between themselves and Gamba Osaka in third place after taking all three points from Yokohama Marinos. Despite the identical 2-0 score line, this game was not as comfortable as the game against Urawa, where Grampus were well worth their half-time lead.

The Marinos looked slightly the better side individually, but were rarely able to pierce the well-organized Grampus defense. Although they out-shot Nagoya 17-9, many of the Yokohama efforts were from outside, or near the edge of the box. Given the height of the Marinos defense, all being over 1.8 meters tall, it is hardly surprising that both goals came from passes to feet. FIrst Norwegian striker Johnsen tapped home a wicked Ogawa cross-ball from close-range in the first half, and Keita Sugimoto sealed the win with a quick break away that saw him round the keeper to blast the ball into the empty net after 89 minutes.

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