Four-goal haul at the Kashima Soccer Stadium spring Kashima Antlers to fourth place, while Gamba Osaka share the spoils with Sagan Tosu

Four-goal haul at the Kashima Soccer Stadium spring Kashima Antlers to fourth place, while Gamba Osaka share the spoils with Sagan Tosu

Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 30 took place on the 28th and 29th of November. While second place Gamba Osaka were satisfied with a point, both Kashima Antlers and Cerezo Osaka brought home the victory. The Japanese contingents for the 2021 AFC Champions League (ACL) are in the fog.

Brazilian forward Patric was the lifeguard at the Panasonic Stadium Suita as he nullified Gamba’s earlier concession to share the spoils with Sagan Tosu. With the season nearing the end and the contention for the Champions League spots intensifying, it was a must-win for the Osakans. They now have 59 points on the league and have not won in the past two fixtures.

It was a relief for the black and blue that chaser Nagoya Grampus, too, drew at home with Oita Trinita. Nagoya failed to find the net within the 90 minutes, albeit Oita were no better. It was a goalless draw and Nagoya remained third on the ladder.

The 22-year-old young forward, Ayase Ueda opened the account for Kashima Antlers as they hosted Urawa Red Diamonds in a game marked by a four-goal haul. Later in the second half, the Japanese international doubled, while his Brazilian co in Everaldo Stum and Léo Silva made it four for Antlers. It was a thumping victory for Kashima. Meanwhile, Cerezo Osaka treasured their 61st-minute lead from Bruno Mendes against Yokohama FC. Kashima and Cerezo now stand fourth and fifth in the league respectively; both teams earned 55 points (goal difference stand Kashima on fourth).

After two away fixtures, Sanfrecce Hiroshima invited Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo at home. The Sapporo center half Akito Fukumori‘s ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ freekick blew the lead for the visitors minutes before the halfway mark, while Hiroki Miyazawa added another in the 53rd minute. Were they too complacent though? It took just five minutes for Hiroshima to level the game as Leandro Pereira and his Brazilian compatriot Douglas Vieira nullified the Sapporo lead. Both teams had chances to get ahead yet it was 2-2, a draw for both. Hiroshima are now undefeated for eight games.

The diminutive forward Hiroto Nakagawa broke the deadlock for Shonan Bellmare in the second half when they encountered Shimizu S-Pulse during the weekend. However, an equalizer from Carlinhos shared a point apiece for both teams at the final whistle.