Kashiwa Reysol tied with Gamba Osaka on points at the top of the J.League today after overwhelming Vissel Kobe 4-0 away from home.
A long throw-in to near the right corner allowed Masato Kudo to hit a cross to open the scoring in the fourth minute, and then Jorge Wagner fired a sizzling shot from outside the area to put Kashiwa two up in the 58th minute.
Junya Tanaka and defender Park Dong-Hyuk consolidated the victory by adding two more goals in the 74th and 77th minute respectively.
"It was a shot from a difficult angle, but it was our first shot on goal, so I tried to hit as hard as possible. I think I helped the team win today by scoring the first goal," said Kudo.
Kashiwa now have 53 points along with Gamba, who will play Yokohama F Marinos tomorrow. Marinos trail them on 50 points, followed by defending champions Nagoya Grampus on 49 points. Nagoya play seven-time former champions Kashima Antlers tomorrow.
In other games, Tadanari Lee, the hero of Japan's record fourth AFC Asian Cup victory in January, scored twice to lead Sanfrecce Hiroshima to a 3-1 win over Jubilo Iwata.
Shimizu S-Pulse gained their first win in five games by beating struggling powerhouse Urawa Red Diamonds 1-0 thanks to Genki Omae's goal in the 63rd minute.
Vegalta Sendai blanked Albirex Niigata 2-0, while Kawasaki Frontale beat Montedio Yamagata 1-0. Ventforet Kofu defeated Avispa Fukuoka 2-1, but both teams stayed in the relegation zone with Yamagata.