Kashiwa Reysol climbed up into fourth in the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League following their 2-0 win over Vissel Kobe on Saturday.
The hosts struck early through Ryosuke Nakayama but it was not until the second half that they made sure of all three points, with Junya Ito netting the crucial second for Reysol.
Albirex Niigata twice had to claw their way back from a goal down to draw 2-2 against Ventforet Kofu, Tatsuya Tanaka having to cancel out Yusuke Tanaka’s opening strike in the first half before a goal apiece for each team after the break ensured the spoils were shared.
Lowly Sagan Tosu sealed a much-needed 2-0 win at fellow strugglers Vegalta Sendai through Yohei Toyoda’s brace to climb out of the bottom three, while Yokohama F.Marinos slipped to an unexpected home defeat to Shonan Bellmare.
Omiya Ardija had earlier held Kashima Antlers to a 0-0 draw, preventing the title contenders from going joint-second in the table.