J1 Matchweek 23 Recap: Marinos take control of title race

J1 Matchweek 23 Recap: Marinos take control of title race

The title is looking like Yokohama F·Marinos’ to lose after a monster weekend for their championship ambitions. That and more from Matchweek 23 in the Meiji Yasuda J1 League, coming at you here:

Yokohama F·Marinos 2, Kashima Antlers 0

The battle of first place vs. second place went Marinos’ way in a dominant performance that could have seen them score far more than the two put in by Élber and Tomoki Iwata. The Tricolor now lead the league by eight points.

Vissel Kobe 0, Kashiwa Reysol 1

A 17th minute goal by Mao Hosoya ended Vissel’s unbeaten streak and propelled Reysol up to third place.

Cerezo Osaka 2, Avispa Fukuoka 0

The Sakura took over fourth place in the table after Matej Jonjić scored early and Satoki Uejo scored late to make it six in a row unbeaten.

Urawa Reds 3, Kawasaki Frontale 1

Early goals by Atsuki Ito and Yusuke Matsuo staked Urawa to a lead that they would never relinquish as the Reds made it eight in a row without a loss and dealt Frontale’s title hopes a big blow.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1, F.C.Tokyo 2

The Viola struck first, but Diego Oliveira brought FCT level before Adaílton scored a magnificent chipped winner in stoppage time to earn his side a terrific comeback victory.

Shimizu S-Pulse 3, Sagan Tosu 3

Sagan held a 2-1 lead heading into the final 10 minutes and then the match really kicked off. They stretched their lead to 3-1 in the 80th minute before Koya Kitagawa and Thiago Santana scored in the 81st and 83rd minutes, respectively, to earn S-Pulse a crucial point for their relegation fight in dramatic fashion.

Gamba Osaka 1, Kyoto Sanga 1

Sanga were down a goal and down a man in Osaka, which should have doomed them to defeat, but Yudai Kimura drew a stoppage time penalty that Genki Omae converted to rescue a point for the visitors in dramatic fashion.

Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 2, Nagoya Grampus 2

Léo Silva and Matheus’ second half tallies appeared to have delivered Nagoya a great come-from-behind win in Sapporo, but Ryota Aoki got the final touch in a goalmouth scramble and poked the ball over the line to split the points.

Júbilo Iwata 1, Shonan Bellmare 0

Júbilo’s four-match losing streak is over thanks to Shota Kaneko, whose 77th minute goal delivered his side a massive three points in their relegation battle.