Vegalta Sendai’s bid to close in on MEIJI YASUDA J1 League leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima suffered when they were held 0-0 by Kawasaki Frontale on Saturday.
Susumu Watanabe’s men have been punching above their weight this season and sit second in the standings, but were unable to find their way past reigning Japanese champions Frontale.
The result allowed Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo to close within one point of them in fourth, as they overcame Kashiwa Reysol 2-1.
Hosts Reysol roared into a ninth-minute lead, but Consadole came back thanks to a strike from Takumi Miyayoshi two minutes later before Ken Tokura won things right before the final whistle.
Cerezo Osaka also moved level with Vegalta on 15 points with their 1-0 win over FC Tokyo, but Gamba Osaka’s descent continued as they surrendered 3-0 to V-Varen Nagasaki.
However, Kashima Antlers turned their fortunes around after two straight league losses, beating Nagoya Grampus 2-0 through Mu Kanazaki’s brace.