By Associated Press - Sunday, March 23, 2014

KASHIMA, Japan (AP) - Diego Forlan scored his first goal in the J-League on Sunday as Cerezo Osaka beat Kashima 2-0 to hand the Antlers their first defeat of the season.

Arai Jasuru Hasegawa opened the scoring in the 18th minute and Forlan doubled the lead with five minutes left in regulation when he converted a pass from Yoichiro Kakitani and beat the Kashima goalkeeper with a right-footed shot from close range.

“It’s been a little over a month since I arrived in Japan and I’m getting used to my teammates,” Forlan said. “I will do everything I can to help us win and I want to score more goals. “

The 34-year-old Forlan signed a one-year deal for a reported $5.8 million, a record for the J-League. Osaka finished fourth in the 18-team J-League last season and is hoping the Uruguay striker can help the team win its first title.

In other matches, Urawa Reds and Shimizu S-Pulse finished 1-1 in a game played behind closed doors due to racist behavior by Urawa fans two weeks ago.

The J-League ruled that Urawa must play the game at an empty stadium after a fan displayed a banner at Urawa’s home stadium two weeks ago that bore the words “Japanese Only” written on it. The sign was put up at a stadium entrance but wasn’t removed until after the March 8 game.

Akihiro Ienaga scored twice as Omiya Ardija thrashed Vegalta Sendai 4-0 while lowly Ventforet Kofu beat Yokohama 1-0, handing the Marinos their first loss of the season.

Nagoya Grampus edged Vissel Kobe 2-1 and two-time defending champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima drew 1-1 with Gamba Osaka.

Tokushima Vortis lost for the fourth time in as many games, going down 2-0 to Kashiwa Reysol. Niigata Albirex won 1-0 against Sagan Tosu, while Kawasaki Frontale pummeled FC Tokyo 4-0 as Yoshito Okubo and Yu Kobayashi each scored twice.

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