J1 Matchweek 18 Recap: Marinos extend lead atop table

J1 Matchweek 18 Recap: Marinos extend lead atop table

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.