Verdy beat Yoko­hama FC 1-0, to face Ju­bilo for place in J-League

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

TOKYO Verdy will face Ju­bilo Iwata for a place in the J-League first divi­sion af­ter beat­ing J2 play­off op­po­nents Yoko­hama FC 1-0 with a dra­matic in­jury-time goal on Sun­day.

Brazil­ian for­ward Dou­glas Vieira struck the 96th-minute win­ner, but it was Verdy keeper Naoto Kam­i­fuku­moto who pro­vided the cru­cial touch in the op­pos­ing area at Nip­patsu Mit­suzawa Sta­dium.

With higher-ranked Yoko­hama FC need­ing only a draw to ad­vance, the vis­i­tors threw ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing Kam­i­fuku­moto, for­ward for a cor­ner kick in a last-ditch ef­fort.

As the kick came sail­ing in, the 29-year-old Kam­i­fuku­moto was first to the ball with a header that op­pos­ing keeper Yuta Mi­nami could only de­flect into the path of Vieira, who tapped home from di­rectly in front.

“It was a re­ally tough game. We got the re­sult by con­tin­u­ing to fight right un­til the end,” Vieira said.

“From the start of the sea­son, get­ting to J1 has been our big goal. It’s been a dif­fi­cult sea­son but we’ve kept fight­ing as one. We wouldn’t have got­ten this far oth­er­wise.” Ref­eree Ha­jime Mat­suo added just over nine min­utes of ad­di­tional time to the sec­ond half of the match, which in­cluded 43 free kicks and seven yel­low cards.

Yoko­hama FC al­most broke the deadlock in the 94th minute when Yuji Senuma ran onto a ball over the top and beat Kam­i­fuku­moto in­side the box, but de­fender Naoya Ta­mura was just in time to clear off the line.

Un­der a new for­mat in­tro­duced this sea­son, the teams fin­ish­ing third to sixth in J2 were to meet in a play­off se­ries cul­mi­nat­ing in a match against the 16th-ranked J1 side for a place in the first divi­sion.

But fourth-place Machida Zelvia lacked the J1 li­cense needed for pro­mo­tion and did not en­ter the play­offs, leav­ing third-place Yoko­hama FC with a first-round bye. –

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