Hiroshima closes gap on Yokohama in J-League
TOSU, Japan (AP) — Hisato Sato and Gakuto Notsuda scored Saturday as defending champion Sanfrecce Hiroshima beat Sagan Tosu 2-0 to pull within two points of J-League leaders Yokohama F Marinos.
Sato, last season’s leading scorer, put Hiroshima ahead with his 17th goal of the season in the 23rd minute and Notsuda doubled the advantage from a penalty with four minutes left.
Yokohama, which was held 0-0 away to Vegalta Sendai, has 52 points with seven games remaining.
Wilson nearly won it for Sendai in stoppage time but the Brazilian’s long-range effort was saved by Marinos ’keeper Tetsuya Enomoto. Vegalta is seventh on 40 points.
Urawa Reds got a late equalizer from Yosuke Kashiwagi to secure a point in a 2-2 draw with Shonan Bellmare. Urawa is four points off the pace in third place.
Kashima Antlers came from behind to beat Oita Trinita 3-1 thanks to a pair of goals from Yasushi Endo. Kashima is fourth on 47 points.
In other matches, Genki Omae scored twice as Shimizu S-Pulse beat Ventforet Kofu 2-1 and Cleo equalized 15 minutes from time to give Kashiwa Reysol a 1-1 draw with Albirex Niigata.
Lucas scored a hat-trick in FC Tokyo’s 5-2 thrashing of Omiya Arijda. Kawasaki Frontale’s beat Nagoya Grampus 2-1 while Cerezo Osaka defeated relegation-threatened Jubilo Iwata 2-0.