KOBE – Ten-man Vissel Kobe lived to see another day in J1 after beating Shimizu S-Pulse 1-0 at home thanks to Hiroto Mogi’s late winner on Saturday.
On the penultimate weekend of the 2010 J. League season, Mogi struck in the 83rd minute to prevent Vissel’s drop to J2, eight minutes after Hideo Tanaka was sent off for a second yellow at Home’s Stadium.
The win pulled Masahiro Wada’s side within one point of 15th-place FC Tokyo, who drew 1-1 with Montedio at Ajinomoto Stadium after Yuzo Tashiro equalized for Yamagata in the 86th minute.
Vegalta Sendai suffered an injury-time 1-0 defeat at the hands of Sanfrecce Hiroshima to slip down to 14th, three points ahead of Vissel.
Omiya Ardija kept their place in the top flight for another year with a 2-2 home draw to Albirex Niigata.
Vissel travel to Saitama to face Urawa Reds next Saturday, when Tokyo are at Kyoto Sanga, who they could potentially join in the J2 next year.
In a meeting of this year’s winners of the league and the league cup, Nagoya Grampus held on to an opening-half lead to beat Jubilo Iwata 2-1 away.
Keiji Tamada and Yoshizumi Ogawa scored for Nagoya before Ryoichi Maeda pulled one back for Jubilo in the 80th minute. The goal was Maeda’s 16th of the campaign, tying him for the league lead with Nagoya’s Josh Kennedy and Edmilson of Reds.
Urawa and Kawasaki Frontale settled for a 1-1 draw.
Gamba Osaka failed to sew up a top-three finish and a place in next year’s Asian Champions League, losing 2-0 at home to Yokohama F. Marinos. Shunsuke Nakamura opened the scoring after three minutes before setting up Kazuma Watanabe 11 minutes later for Marinos’ second.