Vissel Kobe ended their losing streak in unexpected fashion when they beat Kashima Antlers 2-1 away in the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League.
The result against the Japanese champions, secured by Daigo Nishi’s own goal in the 10th minute as well as Kazuma Watanabe’s strike four minutes later, saw Antlers surrender their place at the top of the table to Urawa Reds.
Mihailo Petrovic’s men, off a helter-skelter 6-1 win at Albirex Niigata that saw them concede the opener after only two minutes only to roar back in resounding fashion, moved ahead of Gamba Osaka in the standings.
Goals in either half from Jungo Fujimoto and Jin Izumisawa in their 2-0 result at Consadole Sapporo had moved Gamba level on 22 points with their title rivals - the same scoreline counterparts Kawasaki Frontale won by at Jubilo Iwata.
Their Tamagawa Clasico rivals FC Tokyo were shocked 2-1 at Ajinomoto Stadium by Kashiwa Reysol while elsewhere, Yokohama F. Marinos held out for a 1-0 win at Ventforet Kofu after Takashi Kanai struck the winner right before the break, while Shimizu S-Pulse were unable to hold on to their lead and ended up drawing 1-1 with Sagan Tosu.
Cerezo Osaka are flying in sixth place after they heaped more misery on Sanfrecce Hiroshima with a 5-2 win secured by Kenyu Sugimoto’s brace, as Omiya Ardija climbed above the floundering 2015 J.League winners in the table with a 2-1 win over Vegalta Sendai.