Football: Kashima beat Nagoya to mark J-League's 30th anniversary

Kashima Antlers beat fellow founding member Nagoya Grampus 2-0 on Sunday as the J-League celebrated its 30th anniversary with a specially arranged match at Tokyo's National Stadium.

Yuma Suzuki and substitute Kei Chinen scored as resurgent Kashima won their fifth straight match without conceding in front of a crowd of 56,020, and their Brazilian icon Zico, watching in the stands in a rematch of the two sides' very first game in the J-League.

During their first match just two days shy of 30 years ago, England's 1986 World Cup top scorer Gary Lineker had a goal ruled out for Nagoya for a dubious offside before Zico scored a hat-trick and Alcindo Sartori hit a brace in a 5-0 win for the home side at Kashima Stadium.

Sunday's match began with another refereeing intervention as Suzuki's 12th-minute header from a corner was ruled out following a long VAR check, with the forward adjudged to have blocked Nagoya captain Sho Inagaki while the ball was delivered.

But Nagoya left Suzuki unmarked again as the Kashima captain scored in an almost identical manner, via a slight deflection, in the 29th minute.

"My heart was shaken listening to the cheers from our supporters, even during the warm-ups, and I felt I wanted to win it for them," Suzuki said.

"Everyone said this match was special, but every match is special for us. We all attack and defend as a team, and that has led to these results and clean sheets."

Nagoya forward Kasper Junker had his goal-bound header blocked by Ikuma Sekigawa before the Kashima defender again headed away a fierce strike from Takuji Yonemoto, while Hayato Nakama volleyed over from close range as Kashima led at the break.

Neither side managed to create many opportunities in an intense second half before Chinen, who had a shot saved a moment earlier by keeper Mitch Langerak, slotted home the crucial second in the 84th minute after Nagoya quickly lost possession outside their own box.

Nagoya's Noriyoshi Sakai blasted wide from just meters out and Haruya Fujii's long-range drive was straight at the keeper as Kashima ran away with all three points, moving up to 22 points and one behind Nagoya, who saw their nine-game unbeaten run come to an end.

Two of the original 10 teams that began the inaugural 1993 season, Kashima remain the only side to win three J1 titles in a row, while Nagoya were the side to end their dominance in 2010 when they won their first and only J1 crown.

Elsewhere, on-form Ryotaro Ito scored his seventh goal of the season as Albirex Niigata came from behind to beat holders Yokohama F Marinos 2-1 at home. Second-place Marinos failed to close the gap on leaders Vissel Kobe, who are five points ahead on 29 points.

Cerezo Osaka won 1-0 at Kyoto Sanga, while Avispa Fukuoka and Sagan Tosu played out a goalless draw.

© Kyodo News