Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho capitalized on a slip-up by closest challenger Kisenosato to zero in on his fourth straight Emperor’s Cup at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday.
Ozeki Kisenosato lost the plot against Goeido, and Hakuho (12-1) took full advantage in the day’s last bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, putting ozeki Kakuryu in a spin and catapulting him into the front row of ringside cushions.
Hakuho moved two wins clear and can clinch the title Saturday with a win over Kisenosato (10-3).
Goeido (9-4) handed Hakuho his only defeat here so far and continued his giant-killing exploits by claiming his third ozeki scalp of the meet.
The sekiwake grappled his way into control after the pair exchanged blows and finished Kisenosato off with a meaty shove at the edge of the ring.
Meanwhile, there was more grief for inconsistent yokozuna Harumafuji, who lost his footing early on and failed to recover, falling to a fourth defeat at the hands of ozeki Kotoshogiku (8-5).
Makuuchi division debutant Endo (9-4) met his match in the shape of Tochiozan and was denied double-digit wins.