Quake-hit Vegalta Sendai marched to the top of the J.League today by defeating bottom-placed Avispa Fukuoka 1-0 for their third straight win.
The sole goal came in the 78th minute, when forward Shingo Akamine headed in from a pass by defender Jiro Kamata.
Sendai, who hail from the Japanese prefecture hardest-hit by the 11 March earthquake and tsunami, have ten points after securing three wins and a draw from their opening games.
It puts them a point above Kashiwa Reysol, who suffered a 2-1 defeat by Montedio Yamagata, and two points beyond Yokohama Marinos, Albirex Niigata and Sanfrecce Hiroshima, who are all on eight points.
Bruno Lopes, Mujiri secure wins
Yokohama overcame Urawa Red Diamonds 2-0, thanks to a header by Kazuma Watanabe in the 70th minute and Masashi Oguro's injury-time goal.
Brazilian forward Bruno Lopes gave Niigata a 1-0 win over Vissel Kobe, while Hiroshima edged Shimizu S-Pulse by the same score with Georgian midfielder David Mujiri scoring the only goal in the 70th minute.
In other games, Kawasaki Frontale held out for a 1-0 win over Jubilo Iwata, while Omiya Ardija drew with Ventforet Kofu 1-1.