Cerezo draw closer to Yamaga for second automatic promotion spot

Cerezo draw closer to Yamaga for second automatic promotion spot

The 35th round of the 2016 MEIJI YASUDA J2 League took place on Saturday as several teams hoped to change their fortunes in the final stretch of the season.

A fifth-minute goal by Jonathan Reis was enough to see leaders Consadole Sapporo win 1-0 over Mito Hollyhock, extending their unbeaten streak to eight games. 

The leaders extended their advantage over second place Matsumoto Yamaga to nine games after the Alwin Stadium residents drew 1-1 against Fagiano Okayama.

Cerezo Osaka led 3-0 against FC Gifu after goals by Kazuya Yamamura, Kenyu Sugimoto and Keiji Tamada, but had to beat back a late comeback from the visitors as the match finished 3-2. Cerezo are now just two points behind Yamaga and an automatic promotion to the J1 League.

Just behind them in fourth place are Shimizu S-Pulse, who comfortably won 2-0 against Machida Zelvia at IAI Stadium Nihondaira thanks to goals by Genki Omae and Chong Tese.

At the bottom of the table, last-place Giravanz Kitakyushu managed a 1-1 draw at Tokyo Verdy and are four points from safety. 

Above them in 21st, Zweigen Kanazawa are within one point of escaping the J2-J3 Promotion/Relegation Playoff following their 1-0 win against Renofa Yamaguchi.

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