J1 Matchweek 25 recap: Stumbles at the top makes for ever-expanding title race

J1 Matchweek 25 recap: Stumbles at the top makes for ever-expanding title race

The fight for the Meiji Yasuda J1 League title appeared to be a two or three team race, but stumbles at the top have changed the outlook. Now the title race may include as many as six teams in the fight for the crown.

Let’s check in on all the action from Matchweek 26 to see how we got here:

Yokohama FC 4,Yokohama F·Marinos 1

The Fulie are the kings of Yokohama after dismantling the league’s top team and their crosstown rivals with a dominant performance that moved the four points clear of the relegation zone for one of the best wins in the club’s recent history.

F.C.Tokyo 2,Vissel Kobe 2

Things got wild in the capital as FCT took a 1-0 lead into stoppage time, only for Yuya Osako to equalize. Then Adaílton put the hosts back in front 10 minutes into added time before Hotaru Yamaguchi scored a phenomenal volley on the final kick of the game for a thrilling draw that took Vissel within a point of first place Marinos.

Cerezo Osaka 3,Nagoya Grampus 1

Satoki Uejo’s brace led Cerez to a win over third place Nagoya that took the Sakura to within eight points of first place.

Shonan Bellmare 0,Urawa Reds 1

José Kanté scored Urawa’s lone goal for the second week in a row to deliver the Reds a victory that has them six points off the top.

Kashima Antlers 2,Albirex Niigata 0

Yuki Kakita and Yuma Suzuki scored inside of 30 minutes and that’s all Kashima needed to run to three points that put them in fifth place, eight points back of first.

Kashiwa Reysol 0,Sanfrecce Hiroshima 0

Reysol were able to hold Sanfrecce for a valuable point that moved them three points clear of the bottom in their fight to stay in J1.

Kyoto Sanga 2,Avispa Fukuoka 0

Taichi Hara notched a brace in the first 24 minutes and Sanga made it stand up despite playing the last 54 minutes down a man for their second consecutive win.

Kawasaki Frontale 2,Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 2

Consa jumped out to a 2-0 lead in Kawasaki, but a 53rd minute red card reduced the visitors to 10 men and Frontale stormed back with goals by Yasuto Wakizaka and Asahi Sasaki to split the points.

Sagan Tosu 1,Gamba Osaka 1

It looked like Sagan were going to take full points, but Hiroto Yamami raced in behind the defense and finished on the last play of the game to steal a draw for Gamba in Tosu.