Tokushima Vortis narrowed their distance from the top of the MEIJI YASUDA J2 League table on Sunday with a 1-0 win at second-place Avispa Fukuoka.
The Shikoku side claimed all three points with Yatsunori Shimaya’s winner, bringing them within three points of Avispa and the second automatic promotion spot.
Earlier in the weekend, Shonan Bellmare saw their seven-match unbeaten streak come to an end with a 3-0 defeat at Montedio Yamagata, as Kenichi Kaga scored in the 57th minute and Toyofumi Sakano followed up with a double in the 74th and 83rd minutes.
Shingo Akamine’s brace steered Fagiano Okayama to a 2-1 win against Renofa Yamaguchi, extending their own unbeaten tally to 10 matches and lifting them to seventh place, where they trail Nagoya Grampus by a narrow goal difference.
Grampus were perhaps lucky to remain in the playoff hunt after falling 3-1 at Kyoto Sanga, with former players Marcus Tulio Tanaka and Tomoya Koyamatsu scoring all three goals for the hosts.
Yokohama FC’s 2-1 win against V-Varen Nagasaki gave the team their first winning streak since early May, pushing them up to fifth in the table with 38 points.
Alan Pinheiro’s second goal of the night was just in time for Tokyo Verdy to salvage a 3-3 draw against a persistent Kamatamare Sanuki, who remain in 21st place with 14 points after last-place Thespa Kusatsu managed a 1-1 draw against Roasso Kumamoto at home.
The J2 campaign will continue with Round 25 on July 29 and 30.