Kashiwa Reysol snatched a last-gasp winner against fourth-placed Vegalta Sendai to keep their one-point lead at the top of the J.League standings intact.
Kashiwa, having suffered a surprise 5-0 mauling at the hands of lowly Cerezo Osaka last weekend, looked set to drop more points until Masakatsu Sawa struck in the 90th minute to earn his side a 1-0 win.
Marinos battle from goal behind
The triumph ensured Kashiwa stayed top of the pile ahead of second-placed Yokohama F Marinos, who fought back from a goal down to defeat Jubilo Iwata 2-1.
The home side took the lead in the 17th minute through Daisuke Nasu but Kazuma Watanabe drew Yokohama level before the break, and former Japan international Shunsuke Nakamura netted the winner six minutes after the re-start from the penalty spot.
Kawasaki hold off late comeback
Third-placed Kawasaki Frontale were also celebrating a victory, although they needed to survive a late fightback from bottom club Avispa Fukuoka before claiming a 3-2 victory.
Goals from Junichi Inamoto, Kengo Nakamura and Juninho saw the hosts leading 3-0 by the 66th minute, and that proved to be enough even though a quickfire double from Avispa's Hideya Okamoto threatened an unlikely comeback.
In the two other games, Nagoya Grampus climbed up to sixth with a 1-0 win over Vissel Kobe thanks to an 84th-minute winner from Naoshi Nakamura, while Shimizu S-Pulse defeated Vantforet Kofu 2-1.
All the goals came in the first half in that match, with Shinji Ono opening the scoring for Shimizu in the 29th minute, Paulinho levelling in the 42nd minute and then Genki Omae netting the winner three minutes later.