Marinos held goalless at Shimizu
Yokohama F Marinos missed the chance to climb to the top of the J.League table as they could only manage a goalless draw with Shimizu S-Pulse in Shizuoka.
Marinos, playing without key midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura due to a knee injury, found themselves under pressure early on as midfielder Shinji Ono took control of the game for S-Pulse, with Takuma Edamura and Toshiyuki Takagi going close for the hosts.
Marinos manager and former Japan international Kazushi Kimura brought on Kim Kun Hoan up front in the 63rd minute to replace Masashi Oguro. The South Korea international rounded Shimizu goalkeeper Kaito Yamamoto in the 83rd minute and fired in a shot from outside the box, but his attempt sailed wide.
Hiroyuki Taniguchi went even closer to breaking the deadlock for Yokohama two minutes later when he met Yuji Ono's cross and hit the bar. Shinji Ono then threatened with a header, but there was to be no breakthrough.
"We played better after bringing on Kim Kun Hoan, and only needed to find the target, but we couldn't," said Marinos coach Kimura .
The draw moved Marinos level on points with Gamba Osaka, however, they sit in second place on goal difference.
Asked about the absence of Nakamura, Kimura said: "We should play with the help of all players in the squad, and if we can keep ourselves right behind the leaders, we can move to the top at the last game this season."
Elsewhere, David Mujiri struck the game's only goal two minutes after coming off the bench to give Sanfrecce Hiroshima a 1-0 home win over Albirex Niigata. Hiroshima climbed up to fifth in the table with their first win in three games, while Niigata's winless run was extended to four games.
Omiya Ardija snapped their five-match winless streak by beating Jubilo Iwata 2-0 at home. Keigo Higashi and Daigo Watanabe were both on target in the space of five minutes midway through the second half.
Finally, Vegalta Sendai overcame Montedio Yamagata 2-0 at home with two early goals from Shingo Akamine and Ryang Yong Gi, the latter from the penalty spot.