Veteran defender Daisuke Nasu rescued a point with a dramatic late equalizer, but Urawa Reds surrendered top spot in the J. League first division on Saturday after being held to a 2-2 draw at home to Vissel Kobe.
Reds striker Shinzo Koroki opened the scoring on 17 minutes at Saitama Stadium, swiveling to steer home his sixth goal of the season from the edge of the area.
Hiroyuki Komoto headed in Ryota Morioka’s corner to level on 62 minutes and Kobe took the lead seven minutes later, when former Reds man Shunki Takahashi also netted his first league goal of the season for Vissel.
But Nasu snatched an equalizer in the third minute of time added on in the second half, heading in Yosuke Kashiwagi’s cross to earn his team a share of the spoils.
Despite the result, former Asian club champion Urawa (37 points) dropped into second on goal difference behind modest Sagan Tosu, who won 1-0 at home to Nagoya Grampus courtesy of an 83rd-minute goal from Kei Ikeda.
Kawasaki Frontale fell four points off the pace after a 4-1 hammering away to Kashiwa Reysol, Kaoru Takayama bagging a brace for Reysol.
Kashima Antlers were the day’s big winners and have 30 points from 18 games after smashing defending league champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima 5-1.
In other games, Yasuhito Endo wrapped up a 2-0 win for Gamba Osaka at home to Yokohama F. Marinos, and Yoshinori Muto scored twice as FC Tokyo blanked Shimizu S-Pulse 4-0 at Ajinomoto Stadium.
In-form Hiroyuki Takasaki helped earn bottom club Tokushima Vortis a 2-2 draw against visiting Ventforet Kofu, and Omiya Ardija drew 2-2 away to Vegalta Sendai. Sho Naruoka scored the only goal to give Albirex Niigata a 1-0 win at home to Cerezo Osaka.