Sanfrecce Hiroshima saw off reigning Japanese champions Kawasaki Frontale 1-0 to remain top of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League.
In an evenly-poised encounter between two sides laying down a challenge for silverware this term, it was Patric’s goal late in the 85th-minute that eventually swung the six-pointer the visitors’ way.
In a lofty position of their own is Vegalta Sendai who are second after their 1-0 victory over V-Varen Nagasaki with Takuma Nishimura netting the only strike of the game early on.
FC Tokyo played out a 3-2 thriller with Gamba Osaka as Hwang Ui-jo’s brace was insufficient to overturn the eventual defeat in the capital, Nagoya Grampus losing to Sagan Tosu by the same scoreline.
Cerezo Osaka saw off Shonan Bellmare 2-1 and Kashiwa Reysol’s similar result over Vissel Kobe on Friday means that they climb over Kashima Antlers in the table following their 0-0 draw against Consadole Sapporo.
High-flying Shimizu S-Pulse meanwhile saw their run halted by a 1-0 reverse on home soil against Yokohama F. Marinos, following Hugo Vieira’s early winner.