J1 Matchweek 14 recap: Title race tightens as Marinos, Nagoya close gap to Vissel

J1 Matchweek 14 recap: Title race tightens as Marinos, Nagoya close gap to Vissel

A week after Vissel Kobe put some space between themselves and those chasing them for the top spot in the table, the challengers narrowed the gap once again. Now the title race is as hot as ever, while some important movement at the bottom of the table also made for a big Matchweek 14. Let’s check in on all the action:

Kashiwa Reysol 1, Vissel Kobe 1

Yuya Osako scored his 10th of the season to remain the league leader, but an own goal earned Reysol a vital point in Masami Ihara’s first match in charge of the club.

Gamba Osaka 0, Yokohama F·Marinos 2

Takuma Nishimura headed home smartly to put the Tricolor on top then, despite being down to 10 men after a Ken Matsubara red card, Marinos scored again on a blinding Katsuya Nagato free kick to move within three points of Vissel at the top.

Nagoya Grampus 2, Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1

Nagoya conceded on an own goal, but Kasper Junker brought Grampus right back with a goal minutes before the halftime break and another goal minutes after to retain third place, four points back of Vissel.

Kashima Antlers 1, F.C.Tokyo 1

Yuki Kakita put Kashima in front after just six minutes, but Diego Oliveira snapped Antlers’ five-match clean sheet streak to split the points.

Shonan Bellmare 0, Cerezo Osaka 2

The Sakura were excellent in the second half, riding goals by Léo Ceará and Satoki Uejo to a victory that has them up to sixth in the table.

Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 2, Kyoto Sanga 1

Takuro Kaneko connected from the spot and Yuya Asano scored his eighth goal of the season as the league’s top attack led Consa to their fourth win in five matches.

Avispa Fukuoka 0, Urawa Reds 0

Urawa kept the ball well and Avi were dangerous on the counter, but neither side found a way through in Fukuoka.

Sagan Tosu 2, Albirex Niigata 0

Corner kicks ruled the day for Sagan. First, Yuji Ono headed home on one, then on another they earned a penalty kick that Atsushi Kawata buried to take all three points.

Yokohama FC 2, Kawasaki Frontale 1

The Fulie beat Frontale for the first time since 2002 and won for the third time in their last four matches as Shion Inoue and Ryoya Yamashita both scored on outstanding counterattacks to delight the fans in Yokohama.