J1 Matchweek 18 recap: Marinos retain top spot, but Vissel are right behind

J1 Matchweek 18 recap: Marinos retain top spot, but Vissel are right behind

The Meiji Yasuda J1 League returned from the international break with a bang. Vissel Kobe kept up their chase of Yokohama F·Marinos at the top of the table, Sagan Tosu put on an absolute show and there’s a new team at the bottom of the table.

Let’s dive into all the action:

Sanfrecce Hiroshima 0,Yokohama F·Marinos 1

Marinos protected their place with a dominant performance, getting the better of Sanfrecce from the start and eventually getting a solo goal from Élber to take all three points.

Avispa Fukuoka 0,Vissel Kobe 3

The unstoppable combination of Yuya Osako and Yoshinori Muto led the Ushi to a comprehensive win, as Osako scored the opener then Muto scored twice to take Vissel into second place.

F.C.Tokyo 2,Nagoya Grampus 0

Diego Oliveira scored a terrific solo goal then headed home a delectable cross from Shuto Abe to win Peter Cklamovski’s first match in charge of F.C.Tokyo and deal a blow to Nagoya’s title chase.

Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 1,Cerezo Osaka 4

Léo Ceará scored less than two minutes after kickoff, then Mutsuki Kato and Hinata Kida added long distance streamers before Shinji Kagawa finished things off with a class goal to keep the Sakura’s outstanding run of form going.

Urawa Reds 1,Kawasaki Frontale 1

Takahiro Sekine scored an incredible goal from midfield, but a terrible own goal brought the match level and the two sides split the points.

Gamba Osaka 2,Kashima Antlers 1

Keisuke Kurokawa blasted home the finish of a pretty move then Dawhan headed home to wrap up Gamba’s fourth win in a row that has them up to 14th place.

Shonan Bellmare 0,Sagan Tosu 6

Yuji Ono scored a hat trick before the 50th minute and Sagan added three more later in one of the best performances of the season that sent Shonan to the bottom of the table.

Kyoto Sanga 2,Yokohama FC 1

A red card in first half stoppage time didn’t stop Yokohama from taking a 1-0 lead in the 74th minute, but Shogo Asada struck in the 84th minute and Patric completed the Sanga comeback three minutes later.

Kashiwa Reysol 0,Albirex Niigata 0

Albi had the bulk of the ball and shots while Reysol were dangerous on the counter, but neither side could break through as the point allowed Kashiwa to climb out of last place.