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Soccer: Bellmare deny Marinos 4th straight win with late equalizer

Naoki Yamada, second from left, equalizes for Shonan Bellmare in their 1-1 draw with Yokohama F Marinos at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama on April 3, 2021. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Shonan Bellmare snatched a 1-1 draw with Yokohama F Marinos in the J-League first division Saturday thanks to a late Naoki Yamada equalizer.

    Yamada's 75th-minute header on a counterattack at Yokohama's Nissan Stadium earned Bellmare points for just the third time this season, while denying Marinos a fourth-straight win in the J1.

    Ange Postecoglou's side went ahead in the 65th minute with a deftly executed counter that culminated in Brazilian newcomer Elber's maiden J-League goal.

    The 28-year-old winger, who arrived at the start of the year from Brazilian top-flight side Bahia, volleyed home from the left of the area after Daizen Maeda redirected a ball into the box from Jun Amano.

    "I would have liked my first goal to come sooner, but I'm really happy to have scored today. I received a great pass from Daizen and was able to put it on target," Elber said. "I wanted my first goal to be the match-winner, so it's a little disappointing."

    Marinos nearly took a lead into the break after both Tomoki Iwata and Ado Onaiwu hit the crossbar late in the first term.

    The hosts struck the woodwork again early in the second half, with Thiago Martins heading into the post off a corner kick.

    After absorbing pressure on the road against their more fancied opponents, Bin Ukishima's men earned a share of the points when Yamada flew through the air to connect with a cross from the right by substitute Shota Kobayashi.

    Elsewhere in the top flight, defending champions Kawasaki Frontale moved three points clear of second-placed Nagoya Grampus as Japan U-24 Olympic hopeful Kaoru Mitoma scored both goals in a 2-0 home win to Oita Trinita.

    Kyogo Furuhashi and Ryuho Kikuchi hit the target early in Vissel Kobe's 2-0 win away to Vegalta Sendai.

    Sanfrecce Hiroshima were held to a scoreless draw by visiting Gamba Osaka, who were playing for the first time since the opening round due to a coronavirus outbreak at the club.

    Grampus and FC Tokyo also finished their clash at Toyota Stadium without a goal, Consadole won 2-1 away to Avispa Fukuoka, and Urawa Reds defeated Kashima Antlers 2-1 at home.

    At the bottom of the table, Yokohama FC were denied their first win when a defender was unable to clear Takuma Ominami's 90th-minute equalizer off the line in their 1-1 draw with Kashiwa Reysol.

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