Toshihiro Matsushita scored one and helped set up another goal as Albirex Niigata beat Vissel Kobe 2-0 to climb to third in the J.League standings.
The midfielder was involved in the move which led to Mitsuru Chiyotanda's header in the 79th minute, and he sealed victory with a right-foot effort from 18 metres with three minutes remaining.
Niigata moved on to 22 points, four behind frontrunners Kashima Antlers and two shy of second-placed Urawa Red Diamonds. Gamba Osaka, Nagoya Grampus and Kawasaki Frontale round out the top six.
In today's other game, Brazilian striker Paulinho scored twice to give Kyoto Purple Sanga a 2-1 win over JEF United.