Sanfrecce Hiroshima carried on the start of the second half of the 2018 MEIJI YASUDA J1 League season in similar fashion to the way they finished the first, beating Gamba Osaka 4-0.
The table-toppers headed into Wednesday’s restart having suffered league defeat to Cerezo Osaka in May, and promptly made amends in front of their own fans.
Patric notched an opening brace to put Sanfrecce 2-0 up against Gamba before the break, with Masato Kudo and Thai star Teerasil Dangda rounded off the scoring.
Vissel Kobe restarted the league in front of new star signing Andres Iniesta and did their best to impress the former Barcelona captain, beating V-Varen Nagasaki through Wellington’s first-half winner.
Sagan Tosu, who themselves welcomed Iniesta’s compatriot Fernando Torres over the summer, were less fortunate and fought back to earn a 1-1 draw at Shonan Bellmare.
Arguably all the attention lay on Yokohama F. Marinos, though, as they rushed to an emphatic 8-2 win over Vegalta Sendai inspired by Sho Ito’s hat-trick.
Second-placed FC Tokyo kept pace at the top of the table winning 1-0 at Kashiwa Reysol through Park Jeong-su’s own-goal, while Tamagawa Clasico rivals and reigning champions Kawasaki Frontale remain a single point behind in third after beating Consadole Sapporo 2-1.
Kashima Antlers played out a 3-3 thriller at Jubilo Iwata in a see-saw clash that saw Shoma Doi salvage a point in the 88th minute, as Urawa Reds won for the first time in three league games with a 3-1 result over Nagoya Grampus and Cerezo Osaka saw their hopes of three consecutive victories ended with a 3-0 loss to Shimizu S-Pulse.