J.League leaders Omiya Ardija lost 2-1 to Yokohama Marinos but remained top thanks to closest challengers Urawa Red Diamonds crashing to a 4-0 defeat to Kawasaki Frontale.
Japan travel to Jordan on Tuesday knowing that a win or even a draw could be enough to make them the first team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup™ for the second time in succession.
Unbeaten Vegalta Sendai are five points clear at the top of the J.League after taking advantage of Nagoya Grampus' draw by recording a 4-0 victory over FC Tokyo.
Keisuke Honda and Kengo Nakamura have been ruled out of Japan's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Korea DPR and Uzbekistan, with knee and toe injuries respectively.
FIFA.com reviews the latest from Japan, Korea Republic and China PR on a weekend which proved a positive one for the respective competition leaders, while there are also updates from United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Fiji.
Kengo Nakamura and Daisuke Matsui spoke to FIFA.com to offer their views on a creditable campaign for Japan that ended yesterday in heartbreaking circumstances.