SAITAMA – Omiya Ardija failed to wash away a forgettable week mired in an attendance-fixing scandal as Jun Suzuki’s side drew 2-2 with Kawasaki Frontale before their own fans on Sunday.
Omiya went down 2-0 early as Takuro Yajima and Yusuke Mori scored for Kawasaki. The hosts roared back after halftime through goals by Yuki Fukaya and Naoki Ishihara, but could not move out in front as Ardija stayed in 14th place on 28 points with seven games to go. Frontale stayed fifth with 45 points.
“We came back from two goals down to take a point from this game, so I think it may have served as some motivation,” Suzuki said. “When the clubs is in a tough situation, we just have to win games so we can be trusted by the fans again.”
In other J1 games, Kashima Antlers won for the first time in four games as the champions defeated Yokohama F. Marinos 2-0 at home behind a pair of goals from Shinzo Koroki. Antlers, now unbeaten over their last seven matches, pulled within eight points of leader Nagoya Grampus.
Also on 49 points behind Kashima on goal difference are Gamba Osaka, who rode second-half goals from Hayato Sasaki and Shoki Hirai to edge Sanga 2-1 at Kyoto
Sanfrecce Hiroshima beat Shonan 3-0 at the Big Arch to keep last-place Bellmare pinned at the cellar.