KENYA BROWN - Monday, August 6, 2018
Daniel Schmidt made his return to the starting lineup for Vegalta Sendai in a losing effort to Jubilo Iwata in the latest round of J1 League action over the weekend.
Vegalta Sendai could not hold on to their lead as they allowed Jubilo Iwata to score two unanswered goals to give them the 3-2 win at the Yamaha Stadium.
The 26-year-old netminder has been missing for most of the season but for a serious reason.
Schmidt was the undisputed number one between the sticks last season, but went down near the end with an ankle injury. Upon his return this season he found himself competing for his starting spot. This ultimately led him to being the backup.
The team started the J1 League season well, sitting in the top half of the standings, but have fallen on hard times as they have dropped considerably. This appears to have led the coach to make some changes in the lineup, with the Illinois native returning to the field over the weekend.
Heading to the game, Sendai would open the scoring in the 23rd minute as Yoshihiro Nakano connected on a cross from teammate Koji Hachisuka. There was some confusion as to whether it was a goal as there were calls for offside, but a review showed Nakano was in the clear.
Kengo Kawamata levelled the score for Iwata before the halftime whistle when he headed in a cross from Nagisa Sakurauchi. Schmidt's diving effort to keep the ball out went in vain.
However, the visitors retook the lead 59 minutes into the contest when Takuma Abe blasted his curling effort into the back of the net.
Iwata then mounted their comeback, starting with Seiya Nakano in the 77th minute. Kawamata was released by a through ball into the area and he then laid it off to Nakano, who got his shot just past Schmidt's hand.
Kentaro Oi would then score the game winner for Iwata in the first minute of stoppage time when he got his foot on a pass from Taishi Taguchi to claim all three points.
Vegalta Sendai not sit in 12th place in the standings with 26 points.
Mix Diskerud started for Ulsan Hyundai, playing 78 minutes, in their 2-1 win over Jeonnam Dragons. Ulsan has moved up to fourth place in the K League standings with 32 points, but have a fight on their hands to claim a place in the championship round.
Jonny Campbell started for Phnom Penh Crown FC as they slipped past Svay Rieng in Cambodia's C-League. The win moves them up to sixth place in the standings with 24 points.