J1 Matchweek 27 recap: More carnage at the top as the title race takes another turn

J1 Matchweek 27 recap: More carnage at the top as the title race takes another turn

The fight for the Meiji Yasuda J1 League title is as scrappy as ever. More of the top teams took their lumps in Matchweek 27, bringing them all even closer together. What happened and how did things shake out? Let’s find out:

Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2,Vissel Kobe 0

Takaaki Shichi and Mutsuki Kato spoiled Juan Mata’s Vissel debut and threatened the Ushi’s place atop the league in a terrific win for the Viola.

Yokohama F·Marinos 1,Sagan Tosu 1

Sagan scored in the 87th minute to take the lead, but the Tricolor answered thanks to a gorgeous one-two between Kaina Yoshio and Élber to salvage a point that kept Vissel top of the table by a single point.

Kashima Antlers 1,Cerezo Osaka 0

Yuma Suzuki forced a turnover and finished to give Kashima an early lead, which proved vital because they were forced to play the last 65 minutes with 10 men, but they held on for victory to take over third place and move within six points of the top.

Urawa Reds 0,Kyoto Sanga 0

Urawa were on the front foot all game, but Gu Sung-yun was excellent in goal to take a point for Sanga and drop the Reds to fourth place, but only six points back of first.

Avispa Fukuoka 1,Nagoya Grampus 0

Wellington’s late header was the difference as Fukuoka took maximum points and Nagoya suffered a drop from third place to fifth.

Kawasaki Frontale 1,F.C.Tokyo 0

Marcinho’s magical run and finish down the left was all Frontale needed to upend the capital club and earn all three points.

Gamba Osaka 1,Albirex Niigata 1

Ryotaro Meshino scored a pretty good from distance, but Shunsuke Mito’s beautiful dribble and finish made it a draw in Osaka.

Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 0,Shonan Bellmare 1

Shonan crept closer to safety as Taiyo Hiraoka’s clinical finish moved them within one point of Yokohama FC and a place outside of the drop zone.

Yokohama FC 1,Kashiwa Reysol 2

Reysol extended their unbeaten streak to six in their mad dash to avoid relegation as Matheus Sávio and Mao Hosoya scored to take them five points clear of the drop zone.