TOKYO: Tsukasa Shiotani scored from a 95th-minute free-kick to give two-time defending J-League champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima a 2-1 win over Kawasaki Frontale on Saturday.
Yu Kobayashi put Frontale ahead on the stroke of half-time only for Hisato Sato to equalise in the 57th minute, before Shiotani stepped up with the match deep into injury time to slam the ball home and preserve Sanfrecce’s 100 percent record two games into the new season.
“Thinking about the distance to goal and the position of the wall and the goalkeeper, I knew I had a chance of scoring,” said the 25-year-old full-back, who also scored the only goal of Sanfrecce’s season-opening win over Cerezo Osaka last Saturday.
Star Cerezo striker Diego Forlan started on the bench as his side travelled to newly promoted Tokushima Vortis, but the Uruguayan was not missed as Cerezo ran out comfortable 2-0 winners.
Japan international Hotaru Yamaguchi opened the scoring with a 10th-minute free-kick before Tokushima’s Mitsuru Chiyotanda put the ball through his own net three minutes later.
Forlan, who played the first half of Uruguay’s 1-1 friendly draw with Austria in Klagenfurt on Wednesday, came on as a 64th-minute substitute for Takumi Minamino but failed to register his first J-League goal.
“I’d had a long journey but I wasn’t tired and I felt good on the pitch,” said the 34-year-old former Manchester United and Inter Milan striker.
“I’m combining with the other players better every day, and I feel that I’m ready to show what I can do.”
Elsewhere in the J-League, unfashionable Sagan Tosu beat Urawa Red Diamonds 1-0 to make it two wins out of two, while Yokohama F Marinos also kept up their perfect record with a 1-0 victory over Shimizu S-Pulse.
Kashima Antlers are the only other team on six points after beating Vegalta Sendai 2-0, while Gamba Osaka and Nagoya Grampus both picked up their first wins of the campaign — 2-0 over Albirex Niigata and 2-1 over Omiya Ardija, respectively.
In the day’s other games, FC Tokyo drew 1-1 with Ventforet Kofu, and Kashiwa Reysol and Vissel Kobe also drew by the same score.