Another wild MEIJI YASUDA J2 League weekend saw several positions shift in the races for automatic promotion and a spot in the J1 Promotion Playoff.
With Shonan Bellmare hanging onto first place following their 4-2 win over Zweigen Kanazawa, Avispa Fukuoka returned to second place after Koji Yamase and Riki Matsuda scored early in the team’s 2-1 victory over Renofa Yamaguchi.
That result caused V-Varen Nagasaki, who drew 0-0 at Montedio Yamagata, to slip into third place on the weekend.
Four points behind them are Nagoya Grampus, who triumphed 6-2 at FC Gifu in no small part thanks to Gabriel Xavier’s hat trick.
Takayoshi Ishihara’s seventh goal of the season gave Matsumoto Yamaga a 1-0 win at Mito Hollyhock, pushing them into fifth place above Yokohama FC who drew 1-1 at last-place Thespa Kusatsu Gunma.
Oita Trinita inched toward the playoff zone with a 3-0 win at 10th-place Fagiano Okayama, putting them just two points behind Yokohama.
Tokushima Vortis, who drew 0-0 at Kamatamare Sanuki, and Tokyo Verdy, who emerged victorious in the Tokyo Classic after a 3-1 thumping of Machida Zelvia, round out the Top 10 in eighth and ninth place respectively.
While the J1 will take a break for the week’s international fixtures as well as the J.League YBC Levain Cup semi-finals, the J2 will march on with Round 36 scheduled for October 7 and 8.