Tokyo close Sanfrecce gap to five points

Tokyo close Sanfrecce gap to five points

Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s inconsistent start to the second half of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League season continued with a 2-2 draw against Shonan Bellmare on Sunday.

Hiroshi Jofuku’s men saw their lead at the top of the table cut to five points after Takuya Wada’s own-goal in stoppage-time saw Sanfrecce, who had fought back from Ryogo Yamasaki’s shock opener via Patric and Yoshifumi Kashiwa strikes, held at the death.

This allowed FC Tokyo to move closer to the summit as they saw off Vissel Kobe 1-0 via Lins’ 90th-minute winner, taking full advantage of Andres Iniesta’s absence for the visitors.

Fernando Torres’s fitness levels, meanwhile, keep improving as he was only take off in the 94th-minute of Sagan Tosu’s 1-0 win over Cerezo Osaka, sealed by Yutaka Yoshida’s early strike.

Nagoya Grampus saw out a belting 3-2 win over Gamba Osaka, fighting back from two goals down to take all three points as Jo’s hat-trick led the comeback, as Jubilo Iwata beat Vegalta Sendai by the same scoreline.

Daigo Nishi’s last-gasp winner was enough to see Kashima Antlers climb to sixth with a 1-0 result over Shimizu S-Pulse, while Jay Bothroyd’s equaliser was not enough for Consadole Sapporo to secure a draw against Kashiwa Reysol as the hosts surrendered 2-1.

V-Varen Nagasaki managed to hold Urawa Reds to a 0-0 stalemate - enough to see them leapfrog Yokohama F. Marinos in the table as the latter succumbed 2-0 to champions Kawasaki Frontale following Yu Kobayashi’s double.