KENYA BROWN - Tuesday, May 2, 2017
American goalkeeper Daniel Schmidt led Vegalta Sendai to a shut-out win over Shimizu S-Pulse in Japan's J1 League as the team look to move up the standings.
Shimizu S-Pulse 0-3 Vegalta Sendai
Second half goals from Crislan and Noaki Sugai helped Vegalta Sendai to a comfortable win over Shimizu S-Pulse at the IAI Stadium Nihondaira in Shizuoka, Japan.
Schmidt, who was born in Illinois but raised for most of his life in Japan, started his third game in goal for Vegalta.
The host had a chance to open the scoring in the first half through Mitsunari Musaka as he attempted to volley home an effort from a corner kick, but the ball sailed wide of the goal.
Vegalta also had a chance at goal, but the headed effort from Tatsuya Masushima went over the bar.
Jong Tae-Se had an excellent chance to score for S-Pulse, but his powerful free just went around the post and Schmidt made a diving save towards the ball.
The visitors would eventually score the first goal of the game in the 57th minute as Crislan struck from the penalty spot.
The Brazilian double Vegalta's lead 10 minutes later as he ran onto a cross from teammate Katsuya Nagato and blasted his shot past S-Pulse goalkeeper Yuji Rokutan.
Sugai rounded out the scoring for Vegalta in the 74th minute as he tapped in the ball from close range off a pass from teammate Naoki Ishihara.
The win moves Vegalta up to 11th place in the J1 League standings with 13 points - six behind leaders Urawa Reds.
Steven Lenhart did not play in FC Imabari's 3-3 tie with Nara Club in the Japan Football League.