Frontale slip up
Kawasaki Frontale missed the chance to close in on leaders Kashima Antlers as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to Urawa Reds. Frontale had chances in the opening exchanges with Brazilian forward Juninho and North Korea striker Jong Tae-se both forcing saves from Norihiro Yamagishi.
But Urawa took the lead in the 68th minute when Robson Ponte curled home a free-kick from distance and they added a second nine minutes from time when Keita Suzuki latched on to a pass from Edmilson before driving an effort into the back of the net. The defeat - Kawasaki's first since 19 August - means they remain seven points behind Kashima.
"The game today was pretty even," said Kawasaki coach Takashi Sekizuka. "We knew Urawa would come forward and we needed to be patient.
"But after we gave up the first goal on a set play, we had no choice but to go forward. Now we have to refresh our heads and prepare for our next game."
The win was Urawa's second victory following a shocking run of seven defeats and coach Volker Finke was delighted with the performance of his players.
"Playing away against one of the best teams in the league with strong attacking power, we had good focus and made few mistakes," Finke said. "We won in style with good goals."
Another loss for Antlers
In Yokohama, Kashima Antlers suffered a second successive defeat with a 2-1 loss at Yokohama F. Marinos. The hosts opened the scoring in the 11th minute through Daisuke Sakata, but former Japan midfielder Mitsuo Ogasawara equalised two minutes later. However, Yokohama were quick to respond as Kazuma Watanabe fired home his tenth of the season.
Shimizu S-Pulse moved up to second place after winning 1-0 at Montedio Yamagata. Norwegian forward Frode Johnson headed home an Akihiro Hyodo cross in the 38th minute for the game's sole goal.
Nagoya Grampus beat hosts Omiya Ardija 2-0 to climb from tenth to eighth, while in Tokyo fifth-placed Gamba Osaka battled to a 0-0 draw at FC Tokyo.
Finally, South Korea forward Lee Keun-ho and Japan forward Ryoichi Maeda both scored as Jubilo Iwata secured a 3-0 win over Kyoto Sanga, while Albirex Niigata were held to a 0-0 draw by bottom side Oita Trinita.