Gamba Osaka wins again in J-League
TOKYO (AP) — Gamba Osaka’s seemingly relentless move toward the top of the J-League continued Saturday as goals from Yasuyuki Konno and Takashi Usami gave it a 2-0 win at Omiya Ardija.
Kawasaki Frontale is third after a 2-1 home win over second-placed Urawa Reds, which lost its chance to leapfrog top-placed Sagan Tosu. Both have 37 points but Tosu, which was not in action Saturday due to a regional typhoon, leads on goal difference. Gamba Osaka, the team in form with five straight league wins, is fifth.
Yoshito Okubo and Renato scored for Frontale, while Tsukasa Umesaki replied for the visitors.
Kashima Antlers are in fourth spot after a 90th minute goal from Yasushi Endo for a 3-2 win at Nagoya Grampus. Antlers went behind twice — to a goal from Keisuke Nagai and Josh Kennedy’s penalty — before Endo’s winner left Akira Nishino’s team in the relegation zone.
FC Tokyo looked to continue its impressive run at a demoralized Cerezo Osaka but the home team held on for a 0-0 draw despite Diego Forlan’s outburst at the bench after being substituted.
Kashiwa Reysol salvaged a point at Yokohama F. Marinos, coming back from 2-0 down to get a 2-2 draw.
Vissel Kobe left it late to seal the win after dominating Albirex Niigata for 90 minutes. Hiroyuki Komoto’s headed goal from a corner kept Vissel in touch with the leaders with the 1-0 win.
Shimizu S-Pulse, which recently fired its Iranian-American manager Afshin Ghotbi, picked up three points by beating bottom club Tokushima Vortis 1-0. Kazuya Murata scored in the 69th minute for S-Pulse’s 200th home win in J1.
Elsewhere, Ventforet Kofu and Vegalta Sendai fought out a 0-0 stalemate to leave both teams in danger of being sucked into a relegation dogfight.
Tosu, which this week parted company with manager Yoon Jung-hwan, can take the outright lead Monday night in its rescheduled tie at defending champion Sanfrecce Hiroshima.