J1 Matchweek 32 recap: Wins at top and bottom of table keep title and relegation races sizzling

J1 Matchweek 32 recap: Wins at top and bottom of table keep title and relegation races sizzling

The Meiji Yasuda J1 League title race looks set to come down to the wire, and so does the relegation battle. Matchweek 32 was marked by wins from the teams at the top and bottom of the table, pushing the two most consequential races on. Let’s check in on those wins, and all the other results from the week:

Urawa Reds 1, Vissel Kobe 2

Urawa had battled back to equalize late and when they pushed for a winner in the last minute of stoppage time, they brought Shusaku Nishikawa up for a dead ball, only for Daiya Maekawa to collect it and launch it to Yuya Osako, whose half-field shot rolled into an open goal for an astounding winner that may win Vissel the title.

Yokohama F·Marinos 2, Cerezo Osaka 0

The defending champions are going to keep the pressure on Vissel to the very end, getting goals by Yan Matheus and Élber to remain two points back of the Ushi with two weeks to play.

Shonan Bellmare 2, Nagoya Grampus 1

Yuki Ohashi continued his fabulous form, scoring twice as stretched their unbeaten streak to four and remained two points clear of the relegation zone.

Sagan Tosu 1, Yokohama FC 3

Bellmare’s win put the pressure on Yokohama and the Fulie answered, riding goals by Yuri Lara, Caprini and Tomoki Kondo for a victory they kept them just two points back in their bid to avoid the drop.

Kashima Antlers 1, Kashiwa Reysol 1

Reysol nearly escaped with full points, thanks to a Mao Hosoya goal, that would have pushed them four points clear of the drop zone, but Antlers struck late to split the points and leave the visitor still firmly in the thick of the relegation battle.

Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 0, Sanfrecce Hiroshima 0

Consa poured shots on Sanfrecce, but they were unable to find the one that lit up the scoreboard and had to settle for a home draw.

Gamba Osaka 1, Avispa Fukuoka 2

The Wasps conceded early, but fought back for a win in Osaka to keep the good times rolling after their J.League YBC Levain Cup triumph last week.

Kawasaki Frontale 3, Kyoto Sanga 3

Sanga leapt out to a 3-1 lead in Kawasaki, but Yu Kobayashi and Yasuto Wakizaka each scored to bring Frontale back for a dramatic draw.

Albirex Niigata 0, F.C.Tokyo 0

15 shots were not enough for Albi to find a winner as they were forced to share the points with FCT.