Matchweek 18 in the Meiji Yasuda J1 League is in the books! Let’s dive into all the action across the league.
Yokohama F·Marinos 4, Kashiwa Reysol 0
This title challenger showdown turned into a showcase for Marinos, who were led by two goals from Léo Ceará in a dominant win to stay top of the table.
Nagoya Grampus 1, Kashima Antlers 1
Kashima could not keep pace in the title race after an early Hayato Nakama tally was answered by Mateus from the penalty spot in a draw that saw Marinos’ lead atop the table expand to three points.
Kawasaki Frontale 1, Júbilo Iwata 1
Frontale also dropped points, although they did it at home as Makito Ito got on the end of a Yasuhito Endo set piece in the 85th minute to hand Júbilo a surprising draw.
Avispa Fukuoka 1, Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3
The Viola moved up to fourth place thanks to Douglas Vieira, whose goals in the 77th and 86th minutes proved to be the difference in a hard fought away win.
Sagan Tosu 5, F.C.Tokyo 0
Sagan were nothing short of sensational as Yuki Kakita’s brace led a blistering attack and the defense was impenetrable to pick up an emphatic three points that put them back in the top six.
Cerezo Osaka 1, Shimizu S-Pulse 1
S-Pulse nearly picked up a massive three points that would have taken them out of the drop zone, but Kakeru Funaki scored late on to steal a draw for the Sakura at home.
Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 1, Gamba Osaka 0
Consa’s three-game losing streak is no more after Yoshiaki Komai delivered the lone goal in a crucial win that moves them back into the top half of the table and Gamba into dangerous territory.
Vissel Kobe 0, Urawa Reds 1
David Moberg’s sparkling free kick in the 90th minute earned Urawa a gigantic win that put some daylight between them and the relegation zone, while the Ushi are now further from safety than ever before.
Kyoto Sanga 0, Shonan Bellmare 1
Shuto Machino’s marvelous season continued as he scored in the 87th minute to take Shonan out of the relegation zone.