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Soccer: Koya Yuruki brace helps Kobe earn vital win over Sapporo

Koya Yuruki, right, of Vissel Kobe, shoots to score the opening goal in his team's 2-0 J-League first-division win against Consadole Sapporo at Sapporo Dome on Aug. 13, 2022. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Vissel Kobe grabbed three vital points in their battle to avoid relegation from the J-League top flight on Saturday, beating Consadole Sapporo 2-0 following a first-half brace from Koya Yuruki.

    Takayuki Yoshida's squad came into the match at Sapporo Dome dead last in the 18-team first division following four straight losses across all competitions.

    Yuruki scored the 28th-minute opener from the edge of the box after a turnover in a dangerous area left the Consadole defense exposed.

    "I got the ball in a good position and was able to hit it with all my strength," said Yuruki, who transferred from Urawa Reds at the start of the year. "I want to help the team by scoring more goals."

    The 27-year-old attacker netted his second in first-half injury time, beating Sapporo keeper Takanori Sugeno with a deflected shot from long distance after Yuya Osako's free kick bounced off the wall.

    Kobe will meet first-division leaders Yokohama F Marinos in the Asian Champions League quarterfinals on Thursday before continuing their fight for J1 survival.

    Jubilo Iwata dropped into last place after losing 6-0 at home to Urawa Reds 6-0 as David Moberg and Yoshio Koizumi each scored twice for the visitors.

    Saturday's other three matches, Cerezo Osaka at FC Tokyo, Kyoto Sanga at Kawasaki Frontale, and Shonan Bellmare at Marinos, were all postponed due an approaching typhoon.

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