Football: 10-man Marinos held to draw by winless Sanfrecce

Reigning champions Yokohama F Marinos dropped their first points after three games in the new J-League season Friday as they were reduced to 10 men and held to a 1-1 home draw by Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

Sanfrecce had a man advantage after Marinos left-back Katsuya Nagato was shown a straight red for a reckless elbow in the 77th minute but failed to find the winner as they remain without a win following their second draw.

Visiting Hiroshima needed just four minutes to take the lead at Nippatsu Mitsuzawa Stadium as they dispossessed Marinos deep in the opposition half before Makoto Mitsuta's cross from the right was steered home by Shunki Higashi.

The holders' perilous start continued as keeper Jun Ichimori was nearly caught out by an audacious Mitsuta free kick from distance, only for the ball to hit the post. Within minutes, Ichimori fumbled the ball and barely avoided disaster when it also hit the post.

Marinos, however, equalized in the 19th minute, Elber showing good pace to keep the ball in play before his left-wing cross was chested home by former Hiroshima man Anderson Lopes.

The goal settled Marinos' nerves, and they were on the front foot until Nagato was sent off following a VAR check after fighting for the ball in the air with Shuto Nakano.

Mitsuta created more late danger three minutes later when his pass into the box was met by Pieros Sotiriou, but the forward's effort rolled just wide after a vital save by Ichimori.

© Kyodo News