Frontale’s lead atop the table grows as Marinos are matched by S-Pulse

Frontale’s lead atop the table grows as Marinos are matched by S-Pulse

For months, the surest thing in the MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE was Yokohama F·Marinos winning. The last time they had dropped even a single point in the league was back in May, as they rattled off win after win to not just jump into the top four, but all the way to second place and get on the heels of Kawasaki Frontale for the top spot.

That was until Monday, when Shimizu S-Pulse stunned them with a come-from-behind 2-2 draw.

Eiichi Katayama scored a tap in after four minutes to put S-Pulse in front, but Marinos answered with goals from Marcos Júnior and Élber. It looked like order had been restored, with Marinos set for another victory, but Kenta Nishizawa came off the bench and headed home a cross to send the orange-clad faithful in Shizuoka wild for the draw.

For S-Pulse it was a crucial point as they try to put some distance between themselves and the drop zone. They are now three points clear of the last relegation place and have gotten a result against one of the league’s best teams.

Marinos, on the other hand, have fallen further back from first-place Frontale for the first time in months. The defending champions casually dismissed Oita Trinita, 2-0, with goals from Leandro Damião and Daiya Tono.

It was business as usual for Frontale, who looked dominant as ever and have now opened an 11-point advantage at the top of the table. Though Marinos do have a match in hand, results like Monday will feel like two crucial points dropped as they see their Kanagawa rivals drifting away toward yet another league crown.

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