Top scorer Ryoichi Maeda netted a brace to lead Jubilo Iwata to a 3-0 victory over J.League leaders Kashiwa Reysol today.
After rookie forward Hidetaka Kanazono scored his third goal of the season to open the scoring in the 20th minute, Maeda added two on crosses from Yuichi Komano and Korean defender Park Joo-Ho in the 45th and 59th minutes.
"I'm very glad that we defeated leaders Kashiwa like this. We shut them out, because everybody defended pretty well. We owe this win to Kanazono," said Maeda after scoring his sixth goal of the season. "I missed a goal to lose our previous game, so I'm determined to play better and help the team keep winning."
Kashiwa's lead in the standings was reduced to two points on 22 points, ahead of Vegalta Sendai, and Sanfrecce Hiroshima on 19 points. They are followed by Yokohama Marinos on 18, Kawasaki Frontale on 17 and Iwata on 16.
Sendai remained unbeaten this season when Shingo Akamine struck home a decider in the 86th minute to beat Gamba Osaka 2-1, while Hiroshima drew with Urawa Red Diamonds 0-0. Korean defender Kim Kun-Hoan's sole goal was enough to hand Yokohama victory over Cerezo Osaka 1-0, while Kawasaki overwhelmed Omiya Ardija 5-0.
In other games, Japan and Australia international strikers Keiji Tamada and Joshua Kennedy helped defending champions Nagoya Grampus beat Albirex Niigata 4-0. Vissel Kobe and Avispa Fukuoka were a 0-0 draw.
Australian Alex Brosque scored a decider in injury time to give Shimizu S-Pulse a 2-1 win over Montedio Yamagata, and Mike Havenaar also scored a decider in injury time for Ventforet Kofu's 1-0 win over Kashima Antlers.