Urawa Reds lifted the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League Second Stage title with a 1-0 win at Jubilo Iwata on Saturday and kept up their inexorable march to the end of the regular season.
Mihailo Petrovic’s men are already through to the 2016 J.League Championship and are attempting to secure first place in the overall table.
And they moved a step closer at the weekend at Ecopa Stadium as Yuki Muto grabbed the winner in the 72nd minute.
Kawasaki Frontale kept up their pressure on the Reds despite their daunting task of playing away at Kashima Antlers, winning 1-0 with Takuya Morimoto’s strike as Masatada Ishii’s First Stage winners limp to the end of the season.
Elsewhere, Gamba Osaka had little trouble seeing off nine-man Albirex Niigata who saw both Leo and Rafael Silva sent off, with Ademilson, Yasuhito Endo and Hiroto Goya all getting on the scoresheet.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima saluted their fans one final time in a season to forget with a 4-1 win over Avispa Fukuoka thanks to a brace from Anderson Lopes, with Hisato Sato and Koji Morisaki getting in on the goals before.
Kashiwa Reysol slumped to a 2-1 home defeat to Omiya Ardija, going two goals down inside the opening 20 minutes, while FC Tokyo saw off Vegalta Sendai 1-0.
Shonan Bellmare secured an important result in the fight for survival against Ventforet Kofu, taking all three points in a 1-0 win secured by Yuta Misao’s winner.
Vissel Kobe had little trouble dispatching sorry Nagoya Grampus 3-0 through goals from Yoshiki Matsushita, Yuya Nakasaka and Asahi Masuyama to go third in the Second Stage standings.
Sagan Tosu were unable to hold on for a win against Yokohama F.Marinos, squandering a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 in front of their fans.