Hiroshima take lead with Vegalta held
Japanese international Hisato Sato scored twice to help Sanfrecce Hiroshima to a 3-0 victory over Kawasaki Frontale on Saturday, which saw the side go top of the table in the J-League standings.
After Kohei Shimizu opened the scoring in the second minute, Sato fired home a left-footed shot in the 15th minute and then nodded in the team's third on 19 minutes.
The previous leaders Vegalta Sendai were held to a goalless draw by Nagoya Grampus. The results left Hiroshima with a better goal differential over Sendai, who also have 36 points.
Urawa Red Diamonds, who are in third, played out a 0-0 draw with Albirex Niigata, while Jubilo Iwata defeated bottom-placed Consadore Sapporo 4-1.
Meanwhile, Kashiwa Reysol came back from 3-1 down by scoring two goals in injury time to beat Shimizu S-Pulse 5-3. FC Tokyo lost 1-0 to Sagan Tosu.
In the day's other games, seven-time former champions Kashima Antlers defeated Cerezo Osaka 1-0 thanks to midfielder Mitsuo Ogasawara's goal from a direct free-kick in the 38th minute.
Yokohama Marinos defeated struggling Gamba Osaka 2-1, while Omiya Ardija were held to a 2-2 draw by Vissel Kobe.