Asian club champions Urawa Red Diamonds crashed to a 3-2 defeat to Gamba Osaka to see Nagoya Grampus join them at the top of the J-League standings on Saturday. Urawa came back from two down at half time with goals from Tsukasa Umesaki and Brazilian Edmilson, but Japan international midfielder Yasuhito Endo's 68th-minute goal sealed the win for Osaka.
"Of course, I'm not satisfied, because we lost the game. But we played not so bad," said Urawa's German coach Gert Engels. "Osaka scored three goals from only a few chances, but they had the chances at least three times. We tried hard on power play in the end, we just couldn't score a goal."
Meanwhile, Osaka coach Akira Nishino said: "We haven't scored three goals this season, so I'm really happy that we did it against the Reds. Although we didn't attack well, we were able to take a few chances. Anyway, this win makes the league competition more interesting."
Urawa and Nagoya have both eight wins, two draws and three defeats for 26 points with Urawa keeping a narrow lead on goal difference of 24-11 against Nagoya's 20-11. They are followed by FC Tokyo on 23 points, Kashiwa Reysol and Kawasaki Frontale with 20 points, and Kashima Antlers and Osaka with 19.
Nagoya overcome early deficit
Nagoya came back from a goal down before starting a second-half onslaught through Brazilian Magnus, Keiji Tamada and Norwegian Frode Johnsen to beat Consadole Sapporo 3-1.
Forward Shingo Akamine scored twice to lead FC Tokyo to a 2-1 win over former champions Jubilo Iwata, while Kawasaki watched their two-goal advantage tumble to a 3-2 defeat to Omiya Ardija.
Kashima drew with Kashiwa Reysol 1-1, and JEF United Chiba downed Oita Trinita for their second straight win of the season under new coach Alex Miller. Elsewhere, Yokohama Marinos dug their own grave when midfielder Hayuma Tanaka's mis-clearance eventually gave Kyoto Purple Sanga a 1-0 win.