Soccer: Defensive lapses see Frontale, Jubilo share spoils

© Kyodo News

Two-time defending champions Kawasaki Frontale were gifted a point in injury time in a 1-1 draw in the J-League first division away to promoted Jubilo Iwata.

Iwata forward Kotaro Omori exploited a Frontale defensive mistake to open the scoring in the 78th minute at Shizuoka Prefecture's Yamaha Stadium.

But keeper Ryuki Miura, Jubilo's hero for much of the game, dropped the ball after going up for a cross, and Kei Chinen put it into the goal in the 94th minute.

"Mostly, I feel disappointment," said Chinen, who had been the visitors' biggest threat for most of the game in an unusually uncoordinated Frontale attack.

Frontale remained second in the J1 table after Ayase Ueda's 71st-minute winner lifted Kashima Antlers to a 1-0 win at promoted Avispa Fukuoka and to top of the table.

Antlers are on 18 points, while Frontale have 17, with Kashiwa Reysol a point further back. Yokohama F Marinos lost 2-0 at Sanfrecce Hiroshima and are fourth on 15 points.

For most of the Frontale-Jubilo game, the visitors held the bulk of possession and dictated the pace but failed to generate good scoring opportunities until the start of the second half.

Frontale's second wind after the break produced their chances only to be foiled by good saves from keeper Miura. But just when the game appeared to be going their way, careless defending cost them.

After disarming a Jubilo free kick into the penalty area, substitute defender Kazuki Kozuka was looking to start a counter when Omori easily dispossessed him of the ball.

Jubilo substitute Ryo Germain got the ball out to Yuto Suzuki on the right wing. As this was going on, Omori drifted into space in front of the goal behind the backs of three Frontale defenders and smashed Suzuki's pin-point cross home for the ice-breaker.

The visitors renewed their attack with increased vigor but appeared to be making little headway. Chinen went up for a cross near the penalty spot, but his header went straight up. Miura went up for the ball but dropped it to where Chinen was waiting.

Elsewhere, promoted Kyoto Sanga were held 1-1 at home by Gamba Osaka, while FC Tokyo beat winless Vissel Kobe 3-1, Sagan Tosu hammered Consadole Sapporo 5-0, Urawa Reds were held 1-1 at home by Shimizu S-Pulse, and Hiroyuki Abe's injury-time winner lifted Nagoya Grampus past Shonan Bellmare 2-1.