The ninth round of the MEIJI YASUDA J2 League saw Tokyo Verdy climb back to the top of the ladder with a 3-1 win over Thespa Kusatsu Gunma.
A goal from Douglas Viera as well as an Alan Pinheiro brace were enough to overcome Shohei Okada’s strike on the hour, ending Verdy’s two-match losing streak and maintaining Thespa’s status as the only team in the league without a win.
Nagoya Grampus, who were in first place heading into the weekend, suffered an embarrassing 2-0 home loss to Renofa Yamaguchi.
Kosuke Onose broke the deadlock open in the 34th minute, with team-mate Kazuki Kozuka doubling the lead just two minutes later.
Yokohama FC rose to second place after crushing JEF United Chiba 4-0, with goals from Ibba, Jeong Chung-geun and Naoki Nomura – who netted twice – all taking place in a 16-minute span early in the second half.
FC Gifu clawed into the top half of the table thanks to a 3-1 win at Kamatamare Sanuki, spurred by a Kyogo Furuhashi goal just six minutes after the opening whistle.
Paulo Junichi Tanaka made it 2-0 for the visitors in the 14th minute, and while veteran striker Kazuki Ganaha cut the deficit in half for Kamatamare with 18 minutes to go there would be no dramatic comeback as Kohei Yamada sealed the result in the 89th minute.