Even with Kaoru Mitoma not at his best, Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi stuck with the Japan winger and he delivered a late winner in a 1-0 home victory Saturday over Bournemouth in the English Premier League.

After Mitoma netted a memorable game-sealing goal late Sunday against Liverpool in the FA Cup, Brighton struggled to break down a stubborn Bournemouth, but with the 25-year-old having scored in two straight games, the Brighton manager kept the faith.

Kaoru Mitoma (22) scores the winning goal for Brighton in a 1-0 Premier League defeat of Bournemouth in Brighton, England, on Feb. 4, 2023. (Kyodo) 

"He has fantastic natural quality," De Zerbi said. "I think today he didn't play a fantastic game like against Liverpool or Leicester, but when you have Mitoma on the pitch, you can never substitute him, because you always expect one more (goal) from him."

And Mitoma did what has become expected, heading home Jeremy Sarmiento's left-wing cross in the 87th minute at Amex Stadium.

Brighton's Kaoru Mitoma reacts after scoring his side's winning goal with a header in the second half of a football match against Bournemouth in the English Premier League on Feb. 4, 2023, in Brighton, England. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

"I'm intent on scoring in every game and (actually doing so) spurs me on even more," Mitoma said after his fifth goal in seven games. "I'm enjoying handling the pressure too."

"I could sense the goal was coming."

Kaoru Mitoma (2nd from L) is mobbed by his Brighton teammates after scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 Premier League defeat of Bournemouth in Brighton, England, on Feb. 4, 2023. (Kyodo)  

In Germany, Bochum forward Takuma Asano scored his first Bundesliga goal of the season in a 5-2 home hammering of Hoffenheim.

Takuma Asano (R) shapes to shoot and score for Bochum against Hoffenheim in their 5-2 Bundesliga win in Bochum, Germany on Feb. 4, 2023. (Kyodo)

In Belgium, Cercle Brugge's Ayase Ueda scored for the third straight game. His 10th Jupiler League goal this term came in the final minutes and salvaged a 1-1 home draw against Standard Liege.

Ayase Ueda (L) celebrates after scoring for Cercle Brugge against Standard Liege in their Belgian first-division game in Bruges, Belgium, on Feb. 4, 2023. (Kyodo)

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