Kashima escape with draw

Former champions Kashima Antlers benefited from an own goal by Shusuke Tsubouchi deep into injury time to grab a 3-3 home draw with Omiya Ardija on the first weekend of J-League matches.

Omiya took the lead three times with new Korea Republic striker Lee Chun-Soo scoring twice and Kota Ueda once, but each time Kashima fought back, through Masahiko Inoha and Daiki Iwamasa, before Tsubouchi's unfortunate intervention.

"We had a lot of shots on goal, we just need to get them in. Our players did well but we should control the game more," said Kashima's assistant coach Ryosuke Okuno.

In the only other game today, Brazilian midfielder Popo's free-kick 14 minutes from time gave Vissel Kobe a 1-0 win over ten-man Urawa Red Diamonds.

Yesterday, Gamba Osaka, Jubilo Iwata, Albirex Niigata, Kawasaki Frontale and Kashiwa Reysol all got their seasons off to a winning start.