Kashima eight points clear
© AFP

Defending champions Kashima Antlers came back from a goal down and a man down to draw 1-1 with Kawasaki Frontale in a top-of-the-table match. Kashima were reduced to ten men when defender Atsuto Uchida was sent off after he used a hand to save Hiroyuki Taniguchi's shot.

Brazilian striker Juninho netted the penalty to put Kawasaki ahead in the 33rd minute. But Kashima never gave up with Brazilian Marquinhos setting up Shinzo Koroki, who calmly scored in the 64th minute.

"It was really tough," said Koroki after scoring his seventh goal of the season.

Before the game, we thought one goal would decide the game.
Kashima Antlers' Shinzo Koroki

"We were determined to win even though we were one man down. We couldn't do it, but it is really important that we finished with a draw.

"It was a mere equaliser, but I feel great. Before the game, we thought one goal would decide the game," he said. "I was disappointed that we couldn't score a second goal, but it was important to draw with a one-man deficit."

The draw leaves Kashima eight points clear at the top, followed by Albirex Niigata, Kawasaki and Urawa Red Diamonds, all on 31 points.

Yuki's late strike
In other games on Sunday, forward Maki Yuki scored in injury time to give Nagoya Grampus a 2-1 win over Gamba Osaka, while Ryoichi Maeda scored the only goal to give Jubilo Iwata a 1-0 win over Sanfrecce Hiroshima.