The 29th round of the MEIJI YASUDA J2 League took place on Sunday, with the race for automatic promotion drawing even tighter.
Leaders Shonan Bellmare retained first place despite a scoreless draw against Roasso Kumamoto, becoming the first side to reach 60 points this season.
Despite Yuta Mikado giving second-placed Avispa Fukuoka an early lead at Nagoya Grampus, the hosts ended the evening at Paloma Mizuho Stadium with a fifth straight victory after three unanswered goals by Robin Simovic, Ryota Aoki, and Lim Seung-Gyeom.
That result pushed Grampus to 52 points, three behind Avispa and two ahead of forth place Tokushima Vortis who earned a resounding 5-0 home win against Renofa Yamaguchi thanks in no small part to Junya Osaki’s hat trick.
Yokohama FC rose to seventh after Calvin Jong a Pin scored the lone goal of their 1-0 win over Mito Hollyhock.
Kamatamare Sanuki’s good form continued, with Tetsuya Kijima’s sixth-minute goal making the difference in a 1-0 win at FC Gifu. The fourth-year J.League side four-match winning streak is a club record.
Despite earning their first point in five matches with a 1-1 draw against Zweigen Kanazawa, Thespa Kusatsu remain in last place with just 15 points from 29 matches.
J2 action will continue next weekend with Round 30, which will take place across August 26 and 27.