Soccer: Kashiwa nets brace as Sanfrecce take apart Antlers

Yoshifumi Kashiwa scored a goal in each half Saturday as Sanfrecce Hiroshima stunned J-League first-division leaders Kashima Antlers 3-0 in an aggressive display of counterattacking football.

Hiroshima rebounded from a 2-1 loss to Kashiwa Reysol on Tuesday to move back into the top half of the standings.

Swiss manager Rene Weiler's Antlers arrived at Edion Stadium Hiroshima looking to continue a three-game J1 unbeaten run and consolidate their lead at the top of the table over defending champions Kawasaki Frontale.

They soon found themselves under pressure from the home side's quick attacks on the break and eventually conceded in the 38th minute, when Kashiwa finished one such movement from the left of the box.

While the visitors had the edge in possession, German manager Michael Skibbe's Sanfrecce side dominated the shot chart and created chance after chance by advancing rapidly from inside their own half.

They doubled the lead in the 63rd minute when Makoto Mitsuta struck superbly from distance, completing an attack that started with a touch from goalkeeper Keisuke Osako.

Kashiwa bagged his second in the 79th minute, tapping in from close range after Antlers shot stopper Kwoun Sun Tae parried Junior Santos' attempt on another lightning counter.

"Getting a 3-0 win against a strong Kashima side, while keeping a clean sheet, is a confidence boost," Kashiwa said. "We want to keep playing more and more aggressive, exciting soccer."

In other J1 action, Yasuto Wakizaka and Marcinho struck first-half goals for Kawasaki, who beat Shimizu S-Pulse 2-0 and cut Kashima's lead at the top to two points. Yokohama F Marinos moved into third after Anderson Lopes scored the 86th-minute winner in a 2-1 home victory over Nagoya Grampus.

© Kyodo News