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J.League kicks off with China in sight


Real Salt Lake re-sign Plata as DP

By ESPN Staff

Saints held by Ipswich, Reading close

Substitute Jason Scotland's deflected effort helped Ipswich snatch a point at Championship leaders Southampton.

Saints largely dominated the contest and looked well on their way to three points when Rickie Lambert put them in front after 74 minutes.

However, Scotland's strike from the edge of the area ricocheted past an unfortunate Kelvin Davis five minutes from time to help Ipswich to a scarcely deserved point. The result means Southampton could be replaced at the summit should West Ham beat Watford at Upton Park on Wednesday.

In-form Reading moved to within a point of the automatic promotion places with a 1-0 victory over crisis-club Portsmouth, who now find themselves rooted to the bottom of the Championship.

Noel Hunt's first-half header was enough to give the Royals a seventh consecutive win in a game of few chances, but the outlook appears bleak for Pompey. The cash-strapped side have now gone seven games without a win since entering administration for a second time in two years.

Bart Ogbeche's lob confirmed Middlesbrough's ascent to fourth as a dour Barnsley side lost 2-0 on the road.

Tony Mowbray's men were superior throughout, and although denied a host of chances by a stubborn Barnsley defence, Seb Hines' header on the hour mark had proved enough to guarantee all three points.

But the Tykes' fourth straight defeat on the road was confirmed as Ogbeche lobbed Luke Steele as he tracked back from a desperate rush toward the opposition's goal deep into stoppage time.

Blackpool blew a second minute lead through Thomas Ince at Derby, with a Steve Davies brace giving the Rams a 2-1 win.

Doncaster's 2-1 win at fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest was enough to lift them off the foot of the table. Frederic Piquionne and Kyle Bennett struck either side of the interval before Dexter Blackstock's late consolation.

Also at the bottom, Cody McDonald rescued a potentially priceless point for Coventry with a last minute equaliser against Crystal Palace. A fourth minute penalty from Darren Ambrose had given Palace the lead.

Bristol City grabbed a dramatic 3-2 win over Leicester. Lloyd Dyer's opener for the Foxes was cancelled out by Kalifa Cisse and Brett Pitman for the home side. Neil Danns equalised before Jon Stead won it for City in the 79th minute.

Hull and Leeds shared the points in a dire goalless draw at the KC Stadium, while Millwall continued their recent recovery with a 3-0 win at Peterborough with goals from Hamer Bouazza, Andy Keogh and Harry Kane.


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