J1 Matchweek 13 recap: Vissel win again and extend lead at the top

J1 Matchweek 13 recap: Vissel win again and extend lead at the top

After weeks of teams breathing down Vissel Kobe’s necks for the top spot in the Meiji Yasuda J1 League table, the Ushi finally put some space between them and the challengers. Vissel notched another win, while the next three teams in the table all lost to lift the pressure off of the excellent Ushi in the title race.

Let’s check in on all the Matchweek 13 action:

Vissel Kobe 2, Sanfrecce Hiroshima 0

Yoshinori Muto put in another outstanding performance, hitting the pass that forced Sanfrecce into an own goal then scoring from the penalty spot as the Ushi retained their place atop the league.

Albirex Niigata 2, Yokohama F·Marinos1

Joe Chima Fujita gave Marinos a lead in Niigata, but Albi’s pressure led to a goal by Ryotaro Ito then a blast by Shunsuke Mito that delivered the home side a comeback victory and left the Tricolor five points back of Vissel in second place.

Kashima Antlers 2, Nagoya Grampus 0

Kashima won their fifth straight game and kept their fifth straight clean sheet with another excellent showing, this time with Yuma Suzuki and Kei Chinen pushing them to victory and fifth in the table.

Urawa Reds 3, Gamba Osaka 1

Urawa responded well to Gamba’s early goal, getting finishes from Alexander Scholz, Tomoaki Okubo and Kaito Yasui to storm back for a convincing three points.

Kyoto Sanga 0, Cerezo Osaka 1

Sanga were the victims of terrible luck when a cross pinballed off multiple players, the post and then Tomoya Wakahara’s back before finding its way into the net, but Cerezo were happy to ride that bit of fortune to three points.

Shonan Bellmare 2, Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 4

Consa took over the league lead in goals with three goals in the last 20 minutes to take them from a goal down to emphatic victory for the high flying side from Sapporo.

Avispa Fukuoka 0, Sagan Tosu 0

Sagan had to play the entire second half down a man after Yoichi Naganuma was shown a red card, but they battled to take a hard won point in Fukuoka.

F.C.Tokyo 2, Kawasaki Frontale 1

Frontale’s three-match winning streak came to an end as Shuhei Tokumoto scored a brilliant solo goal and Shuto Abe slid in to finish from close range for an early lead that F.C.Tokyo preserved for a big victory at Japan National Stadium.

Kashiwa Reysol 0, Yokohama FC 1

Koki Ogawa scored from the spot and Svend Brodersen made several outstanding saves to earn Yokohama their second win of the season and take them out of last place.