Kashima Antlers moved four points clear at the top of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League with a 2-0 win over Shimizu S-Pulse, as Cerezo Osaka could only draw 1-1 at Jubilo Iwata.
Go Oiwa’s men bounced back from their setback against Kawasaki Frontale in front of their home support, with Leandro opening the scoring in the first half before Mu Kanazaki added the second.
Cerezo head into their clash against Antlers next Saturday four points off the pace, therefore, as they went their second game without a win.
Kenyu Sugimoto opened the scoring in the first half but they were unable to hold onto the lead, as Kengo Kawamata fired a dramatic equaliser in the 86th minute to secure a 1-1 draw.
Frontale pulled level on points with Yoon Jong-hwan with their 2-1 win over Consadole Sapporo, Reis’ consolation strike doing little to trouble the hosts who took the lead through Kengo Nakamura and Yu Kobayashi.
Kashiwa Reysol are also level on 45 points with Gamba Osaka, with Junya Ito netting the winner for the 1-0 win after the hour mark.
Shinzo Koroki’s brace earned Urawa Reds a 2-1 win over FC Tokyo, the same scoreline Vegalta Sendai defeated bottom dwellers Albirex Niigata by.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima could be benefactors as they are slowly gaining momentum in their climb out of the relegation zone, as they saw off Ventforet Kofu 1-0 thanks to Kosei Shibasaki’s winner.
The 2015 Japanese champions are one point behind Omiya Ardija, who were roundly defeated 3-0 by Sagan Tosu, Victor Ibarbo’s brace sending the hosts on their way.