Marinos extend Reds slump
Second-half goals from Kazuma Watanabe and Koji Yamase helped mid-table Yokohama F. Marinos inflict a 2-0 defeat on J.League high-flyers Urawa Reds.
Marinos, playing without Japan defender Yuji Nakazawa, came under pressure from the visitors from the outset but steadily came back into the game, with Yamase's close-range effort cleared virtually off the line by Hajime Hosogai three minutes before half-time.
Marinos were more of an attacking force after the break and their efforts paid off in the 60th minute when they made ground down the right and Watanabe finished from 15 yards for his sixth goal of the season.
And within five minutes, it was 2-0, Yamase finding the back of the net from outside the box following a swift counter-attack.
Reds have now not won for four league matches and dropped from second to third, seven points behind leaders Kashima Antlers, who have a game in hand.
"I'd like to congratulate our opponents," Reds manager Volker Finke said. "It was a fair result, playing well for 30 minutes is not enough to win a game of football. We couldn't play well after the first half-hour for some reason."
Elsewhere, Sanfrecce Hiroshima edged out Vissel Kobe 4-3 thanks to late strikes from Yosuke Kashiwagi and Hisato Sato.
Kota Hattori and Tomoaki Makino had given Hiroshima a two-goal lead at the interval but Kobe fought back in the second-half.
Japan forward Yoshito Okubo celebrated his return to J.League action by converting a penalty in the 47th minute before defender Yosuke Ishibitsu netted the equaliser four minutes later.
Forward Hiroto Motegi then scored from the right side of the box to put the visitors 3-2 up but Hiroshima levelled through Kashiwagi in the 86th minute and, one minute later, Sato got the final touch to Yojiro Takahagi's close-range effort to snatch the points. Hiroshima climb to fifth following their third consecutive victory.
"It was a bad game for the heart but we managed to survive and win it, which I'm happy about," said Hiroshima manager Mihailo Petrovic. "When you go behind 3-2 after taking a 2-0 lead, it's difficult to play. But our players fought hard to level the scores."