The fourth round of the 2018 MEIJI YASUDA J1 League took place on Sunday, March 18, with Kawasaki Frontale taking over first place from early leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Frontale, playing away at Nagoya Grampus, successfully protected the 1-0 lead they picked up in the 65th minute when super-sub Yoshito Okubo headed in a goal with his first touch.
Sanfrecce struggled to finish their chances in a 0-0 draw against Jubilo Iwata as their winning streak stopped at three matches.
Shimizu S-Pulse squandered Shota Kaneko’s ninth-minute goal in a 1-1 draw with visiting Vegalta Sendai.
Meanwhile, Kashima Antlers held on to Mu Kanazaki’s 14th-minute effort at Sagan Tosu to earn their second win of the season.
In the Kansai Derby at Noevir Stadium, Vissel Kobe handily defeated Cerezo Osaka 2-0 on goals by Naoyuki Fujita and captain Lukas Podolski.
Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo needed a dramatic header from Chanathip at the end of additional time to finish 2-1 against V-Varen Nagasaki and earn their first win of the season.
Diego Oliveira’s goal helped FC Tokyo to a 1-0 win over Shonan Bellmare, while Hugo Viera’s late strike saw Yokohama F. Marinos sneak past Urawa Reds in a 1-0 result at Saitama Stadium.
Gamba Osaka rebounded from an early two-goal deficit against Kashiwa Reysol to draw 2-2 thanks to Hwang Ui-jo’s double, giving the 2014 treble winners their first point of the campaign.