Kashima top J-League
© AFP

Defending champions Kashima Antlers topped the J-League Sunday after beating Yokohama Marinos 2-0. Brazilian forward Marquinhos fired home from distance in the 11th minute to give Kashima the lead, then set up Shinzo Koroki to score in the 29th minute to make it 2-0.

Kashima top the table with 34 points, two points above Asian club champions Urawa Red Diamonds, who play Kawasaki Frontale on Monday. Gamba Osaka are level with Urawa on 32 points but having played a game more, followed by Kashiwa Reysol and Nagoya Grampus, both on 29 points.

Late substitute Masato Yamazaki scored in the last minute to give Osaka a 1-0 win over bottom-placed JEF United Chiba and keep pace with the leaders.

"When I went onto the pitch (replacing Takahiro Futagawa), we had only five minutes to go, so I just tried to score a goal. I was able to score a goal and I'm happy about it," said Yamazaki.

Kashiwa lost to Tokyo Verdy 2-1, Oita beat Jubilo Iwata by the same score, while mid-table Kobe drew with strugglers Consadole Sapporo 1-1.

Niigata crashed to a 3-0 defeat to Shimizu S-Pulse.