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Sanfrecce Hiroshima strikes twice in 2nd half to beat Urawa Reds 2-1, keeps lead in J-League


SAITAMA, Japan — Sanfrecce Hiroshima beat Urawa Reds 2-1 on Sunday to maintain its lead in the J-League's second stage.

Takuma Asano and Toshihiro Aoyama scored second-half goals as the visitors handed Urawa its first loss in 19 matches.

Takahiro Sekine gave first-stage winners Urawa a 1-0 lead with his fifth goal of the season in the 36th minute.

In other matches, Shunki Takahashi scored a late winner as Vissel Kobe beat Vegalta Sendai 2-1 to improve to seven points, two behind Hiroshima, while Masato Kudo scored from close range as Kashiwa Reysol beat Kawasaki Frontale 1-0 to move third on six points.

Veteran Shunusuke Nakamura scored in the 94th minute as Yokohama F Marinos earned a point in a 2-2 draw with last season's treble winners Gamba Osaka.

Nagoya Grampus and Shimizu S-Pulse also finished 2-2. Albirex Niigata beat Sagan Tosu 1-0, and FC Tokyo and Montedio Yamagata finished in a goalless draw.

Elsewhere, Matsumoto Yamaga beat Kashima Antlers 2-0 while Ventforet Kofu beat Shonan Bellmare by the same score.

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