The stumbles of Vissel Kobe and Yokohama F·Marinos appear to be in the past after both took full points this weekend to send the title race back into a full sprint. How did they get it done and what happened across the rest of the league? Let’s dive in:
Vissel Kobe 1, Cerezo Osaka 0
Daiju Sasaki won the race to a long ball, held off a defender and finished superbly to take full points for Vissel and keep them top of the table.
Kashima Antlers 1, Yokohama F·Marinos 2
It looked like Marinos could fall off the pace after Kashima went in front, but Anderson Lopes’ brace brought the Tricolor from behind to remain just one point back of Vissel at the top and pushed the Brazilian joint top of the J1 Top Scorer race.
Gamba Osaka 1, Urawa Reds 3
Urawa made things difficult on themselves by conceding early and going down to 10 men, but goals by José Kanté, Toshiki Takahashi and Bryan Linssen were enough to take full points and move into third place.
Nagoya Grampus 1, Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 1
Kasper Junker got back on the score sheet with a terrific solo goal, but Yuki Kobayashi answered as Nagoya fell back to eight points off the top.
Kyoto Sanga 1, Sanfrecce Hiroshima 0
Yuta Toyokawa’s blast from 20 yards was all Sanga needed to take victory in front of their fabulous home crowd.
Kashiwa Reysol 1, Avispa Fukuoka 3
Reysol went in front after 13 minutes, but Kazuya Konno scored twice in three minutes to lead Avi to the comeback win.
Shonan Bellmare 0, Kawasaki Frontale 2
Shin Yamada finished coolly and Leandro Damião was on the mark from the spot as Frontale kept their place in the top half of the table.
F.C.Tokyo 3, Sagan Tosu 2
FCT were down 2-0 at halftime, but they stormed back with a spectacular final 45 minutes to win their 25th anniversary celebration match.
Albirex Niigata 3, Yokohama FC 1
Albi scored their first goal after just six minutes and their final goal in the 90th minute in a consummate start to finish performance for the win.