Kashiwa Reysol failed to keep pace with J.League leaders Yokohama F Marinos as they were held to a goalless draw by Vegalta Sendai today.
After going into the weekend level on points with Yokohama at the top of the table, Kashiwa now lie two adrift in second after the Marinos' 2-1 win over Omiya Ardija yesterday.
Defending champions Nagoya Grampus are third, ahead of Gamba Osaka on goal difference. Keiji Tamada and Joshua Kennedy both scored to lead Nagoya to a 3-0 win over bottom-placed Avispa Fukuoka today, while Gamba outplayed Jubilo Iwata 2-1 yesterday.
In the day's other fixture, seven-time champions Kashima Antlers enjoyed a comfortable 3-1 win away to Cerezo Osaka. Takashi Inui, who will move to German club VfL Bochum from August, scored his last goal in Japan to give Cerezo the lead in the 22nd minute.
But a brace from forward Yuzo Tashiro gave Kashima the lead in the first half and captain Mitsuo Ogasawara added a third in injury time.