Tokyo extend streak to six
Tokyo returned to fifth place as they extended their winning run to six with a 3-0 win over Nagoya Grampus. Naohiro Ishikawa set the home side on their way after just four minutes with his tenth of the season at Ajinomoto Stadium as he surged forward and struck from the edge of the area. And with Nagoya struggling to cope with the home side, Brazilian striker Cabore doubled the advantage ten minutes before half-time, following up after goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki failed to hold Naotake Hanyu's shot.
Nagoya coach Dragan Stojkovic attempted to shake up his side in the second half with a string of attacking changes, but the AFC Champions League quarter-finalists continued to struggle as Tokyo continued to dominate. In stoppage time midfielder Tatsuya Suzuki wrapped up the scoring as Tokyo leapfrogged Shimizu S-Pulse, who downed Gamba Osaka 4-1 yesterday.
"Winning 3-0 over Nagoya, who are known as a strong side, is nothing I should complain about," said Tokyo manager Hiroshi Jofuku. "But I'm sure all of our players are feeling that they could have done more, and that's the biggest thing we can take from this game. I would like to keep going this way."
Tokyo sit four points adrift of third-placed Albirex Niigata and fourth-placed Kawasaki Frontale, but a further ten behind runaway leaders and two-time defending champions Kashima Antlers, who recorded a 13th win in 17 games this season with a 2-0 win over Omiya Ardija on Saturday.
Nagoya had snapped their four-game losing streak with a win over Gamba Osaka last week, but Stojkovic was again left frustrated as his tenth-placed side suffered a seventh defeat of the season.
"I'm very disappointed with the results. The league games are always important for us," he said. "But it seems that we lost the game before kick-off. I insist at every game that we should go one by one, keep concentration for the first five minutes. But we've conceded a goal after three minutes and everything became very hard and very difficult for us.
"It doesn't matter if you play with 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. The problem is the behaviour of the players. I don't see a collective spirit. I don't see the communication up front. Some players should think about their play.
"What frustrates me is that some players play for themselves. I don't like to see this kind of play and I don't like to see that from my players. Of course, you can lose your game. But you have to lose as a man, you have to do something. You have to show this collective spirit, not individual spirit, not selfish play. Today, I don't see that."
At Yamaha Stadium, Ryoichi Maeda scored twice as Jubilo Iwata beat basement side Oita Trinita 3-1 to leap up to seventh. Yuichi Komano broke the deadlock for the home side on the stroke of half-time with a curling free-kick before Maeda doubled the lead just after the hour mark as he connected with Kota Ueda's cross.
Edmilson pulled a goal back for the visitors with 20 minutes remaining, but Maeda sealed the win with seven minutes left to leave struggling Oita with just four points from 17 games. Finally, Yusuke Murakami struck with a minute remaining as Kashiwa Reysol recorded a 2-1 win at Kyoto Sanga.