Reds on the prowl In Ja­pan ti­tle race

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

TOKYO:

For­mer Asian cham­pi­ons Urawa Reds will be the team to beat as the Ja­panese cham­pi­onship race goes down to the wire, the club’s pres­i­dent in­sisted yes­ter­day. Ja­pan’s best-sup­ported side clinched the J-League sec­ond-stage ti­tle with a 1-0 vic­tory at Ju­bilo Iwata on Satur­day to close in on a sec­ond do­mes­tic cham­pi­onship and a spot at the FIFA Club World Cup in De­cem­ber. Pres­i­dent Keizo Fu­chita told lo­cal me­dia a re­laxed at­mos­phere in the squad would give them the edge in the ti­tle run-in. “In the past per­haps we wouldn’t have been quite this laid-back,” he told Ja­pan’s Nikkan Sports daily. “But with this nat­u­ral calm­ness about the play­ers, I’m sure we will go on to be cham­pi­ons.” Yuki Muto headed the win­ner for Urawa af­ter 72 min­utes to give the vis­i­tors a sixth suc­ces­sive win and the Reds can fin­ish with a record 76 points for the year if they beat Yoko­hama F.Mari­nos on Thurs­day. Their clos­est ri­vals Kawasaki Frontale won 1-0 at Kashima Antlers, mean­while, giv­ing them 72 points for both stages be­fore their fi­nal game at home to Gamba Osaka. — AFP

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