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Soccer: Oshima lifts J1 leaders Frontale to 7th straight win

Ryota Oshima (10) of Kawasaki Frontale is pictured in his side's 1-0 win at Gamba Osaka in the J-League first division. (Kyodo)

OSAKA (Kyodo) -- Ryota Oshima scored early in the second half as Kawasaki Frontale remained unbeaten atop the J-League first division with a 1-0 win at Gamba Osaka on Saturday.

    The only unbeaten J-League side, Frontale held off Gamba at Panasonic Stadium to claim their seventh straight win in J1, which resumed last month following a roughly four-month suspension due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

    Oshima struck from outside the penalty area in the 48th minute after receiving a well-placed pass from halftime substitute Kaoru Mitoma, driving the ball past Gamba goalkeeper Masaaki Higashiguchi to open the scoring.

    "There were times in the match when we were put on the back foot but we were able to endure, so I'm glad we won today," Oshima said. "I wasn't focused on the goalkeeper or my opponents when I scored, but I'm glad I nailed it."

    Gamba, who started the match second in the 18-team J1 table, created a number of chances in the first half but lacked the finishing touch. In the 20th minute, Kosuke Onose missed scoring his second goal of the season when he hit the post.

    Frontale have won all their matches since opening their season with a scoreless home draw against Sagan Tosu in February.

    In other J1 matches, Sagan Tosu claimed their first victory of the season, beating FC Tokyo 3-2 at Ajinomoto Stadium. However, FC Tokyo manager Kenta Hasegawa revealed afterward that the match went ahead despite a Sagan player having recorded a fever earlier Sunday.

    At Yurtec Stadium, Brazilian forward Marcos Junior's injury-time goal gave Yokohama F Marinos a 1-0 win at Vegalta Sendai.

    Kenya forward Michael Olunga's second-half goal lifted Kashiwa Reysol to their fourth straight victory, 1-0 at Nagoya Grampus, who did not play last Sunday after three people in the club tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

    Sanfrecce Hiroshima defeated struggling Yokohama FC 2-0, while Urawa Reds and Shimizu S-Pulse finished in a 1-1 draw at Saitama Stadium.

    Sagan Tosu claimed their first victory of the season, beating FC Tokyo 3-2 at Ajinomoto Stadium. Cerezo Osaka moved past Gamba into second place after a 1-0 win at Shonan Bellmare on a Hiroshi Kiyotake penalty, while Brazilian forward Everaldo's hat-trick powered Kashima Antlers' 4-1 victory at Oita Trinita.

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