Kashima Antlers recovered from a surprise defeat to lowly JEF United Chiba last weekend to maintain their slim lead in the J. League with a 4-1 demolition of Tokyo Verdy on Saturday.
Shinzo Koroki volleyed home a 20th-minute opener and Daiki Iwamasa doubled the lead a minute from halftime before Marquinhos and substitute Takuya Nozawa added second-half strikes, helping Kashima move onto 38 points, one clear of Urawa Reds, who won 1-0 at FC Tokyo.
Urawa scored the only goal of the game with a 68th-minute strike from Takahito Soma, while Nagoya Grampus remained two points adrift of the leaders in third place after a brace from Yoshizumi Ogawa, including an injury-time winner, led it to a 2-1 win at Vissel Kobe.
In Saturday’s other games, Denis Marques and Leandro were on target in the first half as Omiya Ardija ran out 2-0 winners at home to Gamba Osaka.
Oita Trinita beat Albirex Niigata 1-0 courtesy of an early Yasuhito Morishima goal. Chiba got off the bottom of the table for at least one day after a 1-1 draw with local rival Kashiwa Reysol.
On Sunday, Consadole Sapporo hosts Kyoto Sanga and Kawasaki Frontale welcomes Jubilo Iwata. Struggling Yokohama F. Marinos travel to Shimizu S-Pulse.
Bayern, Hamburg tie
FRANKFURT (AP) Hamburger SV rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn a 2-2 draw at defending champion Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga opener on Friday, spoiling Juergen Klinsmann’s league debut as Bayern coach.
Piotr Trochowski scored from the penalty spot in the 56th minute to level for Hamburg.
“It was exciting to be on the bench,” Klinsmann said of his debut at the club where he also played. “We had some problems at the start but then we scored twice.”