Yokohama Marinos claimed top spot in the J-League with a 2-0 win over FC Tokyo yesterday as previous leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima were held to a 1-1 draw by Nagoya Grampus.
Shingo Hyodo scored in the 31st minute to put Marinos in control before Shunsuke Nakamura added a second a minute before time, leaving Yokohama on 44 points, one ahead of defending champions Sanfrecce.
Nagoya’s Marcus Tulio Tanaka scored an equalizer in the 92nd minute to deny Sanfrecce the victory that would have kept them top, cancelling out Mihael Mikic’s 77th-minute opener.
“Our main priority tonight was not to concede a goal,” said Marinos manager Yasuhiro Higuchi.
“Our game plan was to shut down their attacks as soon as they began, and it worked very well,” he said.
Third-place Urawa Red Diamonds moved three points behind Sanfrecce after coming back from three goals down to beat bottom side Oita Trinita 4-3.
Oita, who have won once all season, scored three times inside the opening 20 minutes through Yohei Kajiyama, Masashi Wakasa and Riki Matsuda, only for Urawa to claw their way back through Shinzo Koroki, Marcio Richardes and a Yuki Abe penalty before Daisuke Nasu scored the winner in the 84th minute.
Cerezo Osaka moved up to fourth place four points behind Urawa after a 4-1 win over Shimizu S-Pulse, while free-falling Omiya Ardija dropped to fifth after suffering their sixth straight defeat in a 2-1 loss to Sagan Tosu.
Former Japan striker Yoshito Okubo jumped to the top of the scoring chart on 16 goals with a brace in Kawasaki Frontale’s 3-1 win over Ventforet Kofu, while Yuya Osako was also on target as Kashima Antlers beat Albirex Niigata 1-0.
In other games, Kashiwa Reysol drew 0-0 with Vegalta Sendai, and Shonan Bellmare and Jubilo drew 1-1.