Juninho Stars As Kawasaki Score 7

Brazilian striker Juninho scored a brace as his side Kawasaki Frontale claimed their biggest league win at home to 10-man Sanfrecce Hiroshima last weekend.

The 7-0 win sees Kawasaki return to the top of the J-League, a point ahead of second placed and reigning champions Kashima Antlers, with just 4 games remaining.

On a personal level, Juninho’s (no, not the former Middlesborough midfielder, or the ex-Lyon playmaker) double strike took his league tally to 16. He is now the league’s second top goalscorer behind Jubilo Iwata’s Roiychi Maede, who’s on 18.

Samba stars

Juninho, 32, has been at the club since 2003, and is another Brazilian, albeit relatively unknown outside of Asia, who has taken the J League by storm.

Samba legends such as Zico, Bebeto and current Brazilian manager, Dunga, have all had spells in Japan.

Juninho, Kawasaki’s all-time top goalscorer, loves life in Japan so much, he contemplated taking up Japanese citizenship.

More and more Brazilians continue to ply their trade in the J-League, and not just to bid farewell and receive a bumper pay-off.

Another familiar Brazilian who once played in Japan and with Juninho at Kawasaki, is Porto’s Hulk.

Roles reversed?

Last season saw Kawaski finish runners-up, 3 points behind champions Kashima Antler.

It looks rather rosy, as with 5 weeks remaining Kawasaki’s final four games seem favourable.

Their next game is at home to second from bottom, Chiba, whilst an away match against the side one place above Chiba, Kashiwa, sees them finish the campaign off.

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