RECAP: WEEKEND JAPANESE ACTION
Daniel Schmidt and Vegalta Sendai put a halt to their winless run as they squeaked by with a win over Sanfrecce Hiroshima in J1 League action over the weekend.
Vegalta Sendai 1-0 Sanfrecce Hiroshima
A second-half goal from Hiroaki Okuno helped Vegalta Sendai to a win over Sanfrecce Hiroshima at the Yurtec Stadium.
The win saw Sendai snap their seven-game winless run.
Sendai were in desperate need of a win as their current slump saw them edging closer to a battle in the relegation zone. Hiroshima, on the other hand, are looking to collect all the points they can as they have not been able to build on the league title that they won in 2015.
Schimdt was called into action in the first half when Hiroshima's Brazilian forward Patric put together a one-two play with teammate Anderson Lopes, but his shot went directly into the hands of the American goalkeeper. Sendai had their own opportunity at the other end when Shota Kobayashi sent a cross into the area to Takuma Nishimura, but the midfielder's
shot went directly to goalkeeper Hirotsugu Nakabayashi.
Entering the second half, Anderson Lopes took a chance from distance, but it cause no serious danger for Schmidt as the ball went wide of the goal.
Sendai finally broke the deadlock in the 51st minute when Kobayashi fired a shot towards the goal from outside the area. Nakabayashi made a spectacular save, but could not hold onto the ball, allowing Okuno to pounce on it and tap it into the back of the net.
The host nearly doubled their lead later when a free kick came close to hitting the goal, but Nakabayahsi would parry the ball away.
Patric had a chance to level the score for Hiroshima when head the ball towards Sendai's goal. His effort got past Schmidt, but the ball hit the post in the end.
The win moves Sendai up to 12th place in the standings with 26 points.