For the second time this week, Kawasaki Frontale found themselves down a goal, and then went into stoppage time level.
And for the second time this week, they scored a stoppage-time winner to register a thrilling win and extend their lead atop the table.
Satoshi Tanaka put Frontale behind after 15 minutes when the Shonan Bellmare man finished a beautiful move and pass to put his team in front. But the champions were undeterred and immediately pushed for an equalizer. It would take them until the 65th minute, but they got level when Reo Hatate made a good run into the box and finished with an even better header.
The 1-1 scoreline held until the fourth minute of stoppage time when Kei Chinen became the hero. The forward ghosted off of his marker and got free to meet a cross that he headed into the side netting for a thrilling winner.
Frontale’s lead atop the table now sits at nine points, a far cry from a couple weeks ago when Yokohama F·Marinos were just one point behind them. The champions have done it despite balancing the AFC Champions League and rotating their squad heavily, but Chinen and the rest of the team have shown off how many excellent players Frontale have. As a result, they’re back on track to win a fourth MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE title in five years.