Kawasaki Frontale missed their chance to go top of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League after they could only muster a 1-1 draw at home against Vegalta Sendai.
Yahiro Kazama’s men could have surpassed Urawa Reds, who did not take part in the midweek round owing to their AFC Champions League commitments, at the summit.
However, the Todoroki outfit found themselves behind to Vegalta at home, the visitors finding the opener through Shingo Tomita’s powerful header.
Lacklustre for large parts of the match, Frontale found their way back when Ryota Oshima cut in to unleash a shot from an acute angle and net the equaliser, but his team will surely rue the opportunity missed.
Their false step allowed Kashima Antlers to close to within a point in third after they saw off Albirex Niigata 2-1.
Daigo Nishi grabbed the winner in the 79th minute after Shigeto Masuda cancelled out Dinei’s strike, though Albirex acquitted themselves well even without the injured Rafael Silva.
Jubilo Iwata were soundly hammered 4-1 at Vissel Kobe despite netting first, as Leandro’s brace either side of half-time in addition to Pedro Junior and Kazuma Watanabe’s strikes helped Nelsinho’s men up into the top half of the table.
Avispa Fukuoka continue to remain rooted firmly to the bottom of the standings after their 2-1 loss to fellow promoted outfit Avispa Fukuoka, while Sagan Tosu slumped to yet another defeat in a 1-0 loss at Best Amenity Stadium to Shonan Bellmare.
Nagoya Grampus surged to a routine 3-1 win over Yokohama F.Marinos, while Kashiwa Reysol’s revival this season continued with a 2-0 victory at Ventforet Kofu sealed by Diego Oliveira’s brace.