KENYA BROWN - Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Daniel Schmidt and Vegalta Sendai came from behind to snatch all three points in their win over struggling Albirex Niigata in J1 League action over the weekend.
Albirex Niigata 1-2 Vegalta Sendai
Two late second half goals allowed Vegalta Sendai to escape the Denka Big Swan Stadium with a much-needed win over Albirex Niigata.
Sendai appeared to be heading towards a fight for survival in the middle of the season as they could not string together any wins. However, a morale boosting win last week has brought some life back into their season as they look to finish in the middle of the pack.
On the other hand, all has not gone well for Niigata as they have sat at the bottom of the standings for most of the season. Even a change in coach has not helped them as they have only secured nine points through the campaign.
However, the host started the game in positive fashion and was rewarded with a goal in the 23rd minute. Douglas Tanque fired a blistering scissors kick shot towards the goal that flew past Schmidt. One of the goalkeeper's defenders was at the post to try to head it away, but the Brazilian's shot was too powerful to prevent the ball from crossing the line. Video replays confirmed that it was a goal.
Sendai turned things around in the second half and pushed hard to find the equalizer.
The visitors levelled the score in the 82nd minute when Crislan put a cross into the area from the left and teammate Naoki Ishihara was there to tap the ball in at close range.
Sendai then found the game-winner four minutes later when Hirotaka Mita fired a shot from outside the area. His shot took a deflection, but it was more than enough to fool Niigata goalkeeper Koki Otani as the ball hit the back of the net.
The win moves Sendai up to 12th place in the standings with 29 points.