Yoshito Okubo bagged a brace as Kawasaki Frontale returned to the top of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League with a 3-1 win over Vissel Kobe.
Last term’s league top scorer pounced three minutes before and after the hour mark to cancel out Kazuma Watanabe’s opener, after the midfielder put Vissel in front in first-half stoppages.
Masatoshi Mihara’s sending off did the visitors’ cause no help, and Elsinho sealed a deserved comeback victory with his strike in the 90th minute.
Frontale had capitalised fully on Urawa Reds’ failure to net past Albirex Niigata in a 0-0 draw, as Kashima Antlers closed the gap with Mihailo Petrovic’s men with a 1-0 victory over Yokohama F.Marinos courtesy of Mu Kanazaki’s strike.
Ventforet Kofu were pegged back from two goals up to draw 2-2 against Nagoya Grampus, with Simovic and Shota Kobayashi’s late goals enough for the latter side to steal a point Yamanashi Chuo Bank Stadium.
Last term’s MEIJI YASUDA J2 League winners Omiya Ardija continued their climb into lofty fourth place with a 1-0 result at Vegalta Sendai, while Avispa Fukuoka saw out the same scoreline against Shonan Bellmare.