Mu Kanazaki fired home a late winner as Kashima Antlers picked up their first win of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League season, beating Gamba Osaka 1-0.
The Japan striker scored the only goal of the game in the 78th minute in an even match, as they attempt to wrest back the title from Kawasaki Frontale at the end of this season.
Reigning champions Frontale were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Shonan Bellmare as Temma Matsuda struck to cancel out Yu Kobayashi’s opener.
Title contenders Cerezo Osaka were meanwhile held to a thrilling 3-3 draw against Consadole Sapporo.
The pick of the goals coming before the break from Cerezo before as Toshiyuki Takagi finished clinically from Yochiro Kakitani's superb backheel assist.
Elsewhere, Vissel Kobe endured a mighty 4-2 upset at home as they surrendered to Shimizu S-Pulse despite fighting back to 2-2 at one point, while FC Tokyo endured a 1-0 reverse in front of their own fans against Vegalta Sendai.
There were no shocks for Kashiwa Reysol and Nagoya Grampus, however, as they saw off Yokohama F. Marinos and Jubilo Iwata on home turf respectively.