Comfortable Antlers still in control
Two-time defending champions Kashima Antlers remained eight points clear at the top the table after easing to a 3-1 home win over FC Tokyo.
Brazilian midfielder Danilo set the Antlers on their way at Kashima Soccer Stadium after just five minutes before compatriot Marquinhos doubled the advantage midway through the first half.
Second-half substitute Yuya Osako put the result beyond doubt with 12 minutes remaining before Tokyo's Brazilian frontman Cabore grabbed an 86th-minute consolation. Kashima's Brazilian coach Oswaldo Oliveira said his players did "an excellent job".
"Tokyo are a strong team and they have high quality attacking players. Although we lost one goal, I'm satisfied with our performance overall," he said. "We were able to cope with our opponents really well."
Elsewhere, second-placed Kawasaki Frontale kept the Antlers' lead at eight points as Hiroyuki Taniguchi and Yusuke Tasaka scored in the first half to secure a 2-0 win over Montedio Yamagata.
Brazilian midfielder Magnum scored in the final minute as Nagoya Grampus scored three times in the last 18 minutes to edge out Gamba Osaka 3-2. Yasuhito Endo and Brazilian striker Lucas Severino put the home side into a commanding position as they scored in the first half for Gamba.
Yuki Maki's 72nd-minute goal looked to be just consolation for Nagoya, but after Keiji Tamada equalised ten minutes later, Magnum completed the quick-fire comeback to snatch all three points.