Urawa Reds continued their strong run-in to the 2016 J.League Championship with a 2-1 victory over Albirex Niigata on Saturday.
Mihailo Petrovic’s men had already secured their place at the title-deciding tournament but still kept up their form to win at Denka Big Swan Stadium thanks to Shinzo Koroki’s brace cancelling out Rafael Silva’s equaliser.
On the other hand, Kashima Antlers’ stop-start form this Second Stage of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League season only continued as they succumbed 2-1 to FC Tokyo.
Kawasaki Frontale had no such troubles against dethroned 2015 champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima but had to wait until the final 10 minutes of the match before Kentaro Moriya and Kengo Nakamura struck the decisive goals for a 2-0 win.
Gamba Osaka twice came back from a goal down to draw 2-2 at Yokohama F.Marinos - Yosuke Ideguchi netting both goals - while Sagan Tosu overcame Kashiwa Reysol 3-2 away.
Omiya Ardija likewise trumped Shonan Bellmare by the same scoreline despite Dinei’s brace for the latter.
Vegalta Sendai had no trouble seeing off Vissel Kobe 3-0 at Yurtec Stadium but Jubilo Iwata only managed a 1-1 draw at Nagoya Grampus through Jay Bothroyd’s equaliser.
The penultimate round of the Second Stage takes place next Saturday.