Urawa Reds grind out a 3-2 win over Consadole Sapporo on Saturday to maintain their lead at the top of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League.
Gamba Osaka’s 6-0 win over bottom side Omiya Ardija saw them put pressure on Mihailo Petrovic’s men before kick-off, and the Reds endured several nervy moments before they secured the win.
Shinzo Koroki added the decisive goal to Rafael Silva and Takahiro Sekine’s openers, although Akito Fukumori’s strike for Sapporo in the 87th minute meant the Saitama Stadium residents lived on the edge before earning the win that sees them keep their four-point lead.
Jubilo Iwata pulled off the shock of the round when they comprehensively smashed three without response past Kashima Antlers, making the most of their chances despite being kept on the back foot for the majority of the tie.
Kengo Kawamata and Shunsuke Nakamura put his side into a two-goal lead right after the 20th minute, and they cruised from there until Hayao Kawabe silenced Kashima Stadium by sealing the win late on.
Vissel Kobe’s impressive start to the season is meanwhile at risk of petering out after they lost their second straight game in a row at Sagan Tosu - Cho-Dong-geon’s ninth-minute winner proving enough for the hosts.
Elsewhere, Sanfrecce Hiroshima remain deeply locked in this season’s battle for survival after they scuppered a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Vegalta Sendai.
Yoshifumi Kashiwa and Masato Kudo fired the ailing 2015 champions into a two-goal lead before Ryang Yong-gi and Hirotaka Mita pulled Vegalta level, and there was further drama as the guests went ahead through Naoki Ishihara.
It took Kosei Shibasaki’s 95th-minute equaliser to pull his side back from the brink after they conceded three goals in that eight minute spell, with the Edion Stadium crowd making their disapproval at the slump known.
Hiroto Hatao’s leveller helped Ventforet Kofu draw 1-1 with Cerezo Osaka, while Yoshito Okubo wrapped up FC Tokyo’s 3-0 win at Albirex Niigata.