Sendai maintain lead, Hiroshima win

Forward Shingo Akamine scored the only goal to give Vegalta Sendai a 1-0 victory over Vissel Kobe, maintaining their two-point lead at the top of the J-League standings on Saturday.

The goal came in the 19th minute when Korean midfielder Ryang Yong-Gi passed to Akamine, who fired home from close range.

Sendai have taken 35 points from ten wins, five draws and two defeats, which puts them two ahead of Sanfrecce Hiroshima, who were 2-0 winners over Jubilo Iwata with Koji Nakajima and Koji Morisaki scoring in the 77th and 93rd minutes.

Meanwhile, Urawa Red Diamonds moved up to third place on 30 points after beating Sagan Tosu 4-3. They are followed by Nagoya Grampus and FC Tokyo, who are ahead of defending champions Kashiwa Reysol, Kawasaki Frontale and Jubilo Iwata S-Pulse.

A Hidekazu Otani own goal sealed Nagoya a 2-1 win over Kashiwa, while Brazilian striker Lucas scored twice to secure FC Tokyo a 3-2 win over Gamba Osaka. Kawasaki and Shimizu S-Pulse finished goalless.

In other games, Albirex Niigata defeated bottom-placed Consadole Sapporo 1-0, seven-time champions Kashima Antlers edged Omiya Ardija 1-0, and Yokohama Marinos drew with Cerezo Osaka 1-1.