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Nagoya net four against Al Ain
J-League champions secure vital three points with first Asian Champions League win.
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2011 16:14
Mu Kanazaki scores the first of his goals as Nagoya enjoy their first win of the season [AFP]

J-League champions Nagoya Grampus scored a resounding victory over a 10-man Al Ain on Tuesday, notching up a vital first Asian Champions League victory of the season.

The game was the only Asian Champions League fixture and had been rearranged from March 15 following the devastating earthquake that hit Japan last month, postponing many sporting events including J-League fixtures and AFC clashes.

Mu Kanazaki scored a brace to inspire Nagoya to victory at the Mizuho Athletic Stadium against the United Arab Emirates visitors.

The result lifted Nagoya alongside China's Hangzhou Greentown on four points in Group F, only three behind leaders FC Seoul.

Al Ain remain at the bottom of the group with a draw from three games.

Strong start

The home side started confidently, with midfielder Yoshizumi Ogawa hitting the bar in the third minute before Kanazaki opened the scoring in the 27th minute, the goal becoming only Nagoya's second goal in this year's competition.

Al Ain came close to an immediate reply a minute later when an unmarked Elias received the ball just outside the box, but his shot sailed wide.

A Kanazaki header doubled Nagoya's lead in first-half injury time before Al Ain midfielder Brahima Keita regrettably scored an own goal on 61 minutes.

There was more misery to come for Al Ain as defender Fares Al Saadi was sent off for bringing down Jungo Fujimoto just outside the area after 76 minutes.

The midfielder picked himself up to curl the resulting free kick left-footed into the net.

Nagaya have had a poor start to the season, losing 2-0 away to Hangzhou and drawing at home against FC Seoul, and Nagoya's coach Dragan Stojkovic was pleased with the improvement in his side's performance.

"It was important for the team to show our character and we proved that we have the quality with our good play," he said.

Nagoya face a tough text in their next fixture, with a trip to leaders Seoul who have maintained an unbeaten record so far.

Al Ain will meet Hangzhou at home on April 19. 

Source:
Agencies
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