J1 Matchweek 12 Recap: Scorching Sanfrecce take down league leaders

J1 Matchweek 12 Recap: Scorching Sanfrecce take down league leaders

The AFC Champions League clubs returned to Meiji Yasuda J1 League action this week, but it was the slaying of table-topping Kashima Antlers that grabbed headlines. What went down in Matchweek 12?

Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3, Kashima Antlers 0

Yoshifumi Kashiwa scored twice as Sanfrecce put Kashima on their heels in a spectacular performance that rocked the league’s first place team.

Shimizu S-Pulse 0, Kawasaki Frontale 2

Frontale put their Champions League disappointment behind them with a comfortable win in their J1 return. Yasuto Wakizaka led the way with a goal and assist to move just two points back of Kashima for first place.

Yokohama F·Marinos 2, Nagoya Grampus 1

Élber and Anderson Lopes led Marinos back from an early deficit to pick up a crucial win that has them only four points off the top of the table.

Kashiwa Reysol 0, Urawa Reds 0

Two good defenses lived up to their reputations in a stalemate that kept Reysol in the top four.

F.C.Tokyo 0, Sagan Tosu 1

Sagan left it until late, but Yuki Horigome delivered an 81st minute goal for a great win in the capital that lifted Sagan into fifth place.

Cerezo Osaka 2, Júbilo Iwata 1

Cerezo weathered a late red card to hold on for all three points thanks to Seiya Maikuma, whose two first half goals led the way for the Sakura.

Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 1, Kyoto Sanga 0

Tomoki Takamine’s header won it for Consa, but the real story is the defense, which has not allowed a goal in the team’s current five-match unbeaten run.

Avispa Fukuoka 0, Shonan Bellmare 0

Avispa’s defense was excellent as always, but it was Shonan’s that stole the show by holding on for a clean sheet despite playing the entire second half with 10 men.

Gamba Osaka 2, Vissel Kobe 0

A 24th minute red card soured Vissel’s return to J1 after their Champions League success and two late goals powered Gamba to their first win in six matches.