J1 League Matchweek 16 Recap: Antlers close in as Zelvia remain top

J1 League Matchweek 16 Recap: Antlers close in as Zelvia remain top

FC Machida Zelvia are still top of the Meiji Yasuda J1 League table, but there’s a new second place team as Kashima Antlers moved up. Let’s check in on that, along with all the rest of the Matchweek 16 action.

Urawa Reds 1, FC Machida Zelvia 2

Zelvia left it late, but Hokuto Shimoda buried a stoppage-time penalty to deliver them full points in Saitama and keep them top of the table.

Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 0, Kashima Antlers 3

Kashima stayed hot as Shintaro Nago scored twice to lead them to a comfortable 3-0 away win that has them three points off the top.

Vissel Kobe 0, Tokyo Verdy 1

Verdy picked up an impressive victory as an own goal doomed Vissel to their second straight loss and a slip to third in the table.

FC Tokyo 0, Gamba Osaka 1

The splendid Gamba defense was wildly impressive in Tokyo, shutting down one of the league’s top attacks, before Kota Yamada’s goal in the 85th minute gave the visitors full points.

Nagoya Grampus 1, Kyoto Sanga 1

Yuta Toyokawa’s goal was canceled out by Keiya Shihashi’s equalizer as Grampus and Sanga split the points.

Cerezo Osaka 1, Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1

Hayato Araki put Sanfrecce in front, but Ryuya Nishio hit back to earn Cerezo a point in Osaka.

Kawasaki Frontale 1, Kashiwa Reysol 1

Yasuto Wakizaka’s opener held up for nearly an hour, but Kosuke Kinoshita brought Reysol level for the draw.

Albirex Niigata 1, Avispa Fukuoka 2

Hiroyuki Mae scored a magnificent free kick and Kazuya Konno added a goal of his own to lift Avispa to a well-deserved victory in Niigata.

Júbilo Iwata 3, Shonan Bellmare 2

It was a day to remember in Iwata as Júbilo orchestrated a phenomenal comeback from two goals down. Léo Gomes’ 85th-minute winner sent the crowd wild and gave the hosts three crucial points in their bid to avoid the relegation fight.