FC Tokyo defeated newly crowned Nagoya Grampus 1-0 today, putting a dampener on their overnight celebrations after Grampus claimed their first J-League title last weekend with two games to spare.
Former Japanese international forward Masashi Oguro netted an exquisite looping shot over goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki from the edge of the area in the 26th minute for the only goal of the game. Nagoya had a decisive chance in the 74th minute when current international striker Keiji Tamada hit wide.
It was a big win for FC Tokyo, who are vying with Vissel Kobe to remain in the first division. Kobe drew with Omiya Ardija 2-2 to stay in the relegation zone. The bottom three teams will be relegated to the second division, with Kyoto Sanga and Shonan Bellmare already demoted.
"We really needed three points from a win. I'm glad that we made it concentrating on winning three points," said Oguro. "Nagoya had already won the title, so they were a bit loose. We were lucky.
"We couldn't win recently, so I'm really happy that we won. Of course, I'm happy about my goal, but it is important for our team to keep the momentum. We have two more games to go. I forget about this game and try to win the next," he added.
In other games, Kashima Antlers, who missed a record fourth straight title, crashed to a 2-1 defeat to Jubilo Iwata, while Gamba Osaka moved up to second place, beating Shonan 2-1.
Brazilian midfielder Ponte, who will leave Urawa Red Diamonds at the end of the season, scored a brace to lead his side to a 4-1 win over Yokohama Marinos.
Shimizu S-Pulse outplayed Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-1, Cerezo Osaka downed Kawasaki Frontale 2-1, and Albirex Niigata drew with Vegalta Sendai 1-1.