A Ken Tokura brace helped Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo return to their winning ways in the 29th round of the 2016 MEIJI YASUDA J2 League.
The current leaders were dealt a surprise 1-0 defeat at Yokohama FC on Thursday, but had no trouble at the Sapporo Dome in a 3-1 win over Montedio Yamagata.
The visitors, who are now winless in their last eight, reached the scoreboard thanks to Ryohei Hayashi’s effort in the 63rd minute, a small redemption for his own goal just five minutes earlier.
Second place Matsumoto Yamaga earned full points for the first time since July 24 with a 1-0 victory at Cerezo Osaka.
Midfielder Paulinho notched his first goal since arriving from Shonan Bellmare earlier this summer, handing struggling Cerezo their fourth loss in six matches and causing them to slip into fourth place behind Fagiano Okayama, who triumphed 3-1 over Kamatamare Sanuki.
Yokohama FC continued their climb up the table, extending their winning streak to four with a 2-0 result at Tokyo Verdy.
Second half goals from Ibba and Takuya Nagata pushed the Mitsuzawa Stadium residents up to ninth place, eight points behind Shimizu S-Pulse for the final J1 Promotion Playoff spot.
The final match of the round will be played on Monday, when Thespa Kusatsu Gunma host Mito Hollyhock.