The 2016 MEIJI YASUDA J2 League resumed on Saturday after breaking for the opening rounds of the Emperor’s Cup.
A pair of goals from Ken Tokura helped Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo get past Thespa Kusatsu Gunma with a 3-1 win at the team’s alternate home ground of Atsubetsu Stadium.
Second place Matsumoto Yamaga, currently nine points behind Consadole, kept ahead of the playoff chase with a 2-0 win against Kyoto Sanga thanks to goals by Paulinho and Kohei Kudo.
Captain Genki Omae made his post-injury return for Shimizu S-Pulse following his rib fractures in June, scoring the final goal in their 3-1 win against Montedio Yamagata.
Yokohama FC only managed a 1-1 draw at Machida Zelvia, but rose to seventh place on goal difference thanks to Renofa Yamaguchi’s 1-0 loss at Fagiano Okayama.
Both teams are seven points behind Sanga for the last J1 League Promotion Playoff spot.
The J2’s next round will take place on Sunday, September 18.