Monday, August 23, 2010

Kennedy continues scoring form

The locks may be gone, but the goals keep coming for Socceroos striker Josh Kennedy.

Kennedy scored the third goal in Nagoya’s 3-1 win over Gamba Osaka, a win that moves Nagoya five points clear at the top of the J.League after 20 games.

The goal puts Kennedy clear on top of the J.League’s Golden Boot with 11 goals, one clear of Cho Young-Cheol (Albirex Niigata), Edmilson (Urawa Reds) and Shoki Hirai (Gamba Osaka).

The win was crucial for Nagoya after they blew a chance to put a gap between them and the rest of the field last week, with a shock 4-0 loss to Kawasaki at the Todoroki Stadium on Wednesday.

In his first full season with the J.League outfit, Kennedy has proved a revelation. His aerial threat has caused defences across Japan all sorts of trouble and have them on track to qualify for the 2011 AFC Champions League.

Elsewhere in the J.League, Albirex Niigata continued their climb up the table with a 2-1 win over Kawasaki courtesy of a brace by Korean striker Cho Young-Cheol. Niigata, who earlier last week dismantled one-time table-topper Shimizu S-Pulse 4-1, have now won 11 of their past 12 games and sit in sixth spot on the table, just two points off second spot.

S-Pulse completed a horror week with a 2-1 away loss to lowly Jubilo Iwata who, courtesy of the win, put some breathing space between them and the relegation zone.

In one of the matches of the round surprise packet Cerezo Osaka, who were promoted from J2 this season, completed the double over last season’s champions, Kashima Antlers. The win takes the Osaka outfit equal on points with Kashima, but puts them in second on goal difference.

Other results include wins for Vegalta Sendai, Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Yokohama F.Marinos.

The coming weekend of J.League action promises plenty with heavyweight clashes between Urawa and Kashima; Yokohama and Niigata; and S-Pulse and Kawasaki. With Nagoya taking on bottom of the table Kyoto Sanga, who are in disarray, it’d be a brave man that would bet against Kennedy getting his name on the scoresheet again.

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