Brazilian striker Emerson and Keita Suzuki scored in each half Saturday as the Urawa Reds edged struggling Consadole Sapporo 2-1 to join Gamba Osaka at the top of the J. League first division.

Urawa maintained its unbeaten start to the second stage to stay level with Gamba Osaka, which won 1-0 at Nagoya Grampus Eight, on points and push Sapporo further toward a return to Division Two.

At Sapporo Dome, Brazilian striker Emerson broke the deadlock two minutes before the interval, driving home a Yuichiro Nagai cross to notch his 12th goal of the season.

Nagai then set up Suzuki to put the visitors in the driving seat in the 52nd minute before Sapporo pulled one back through Gakuya Horii in the 73rd minute.

Relegation-threatened Sapporo remain rooted to the foot of the table with a total of just seven points from both stages.

League-leading scorer Magrao took his tally for the season to 17 when he headed the only goal of the game to seal three points for Gamba at Mizuho stadium in Nagoya.

A 70th-minute strike from Edmundo canceled out Daisuke Oku’s opener as Tokyo Verdy drew 1-1 at home to Yokohama F. Marinos while Vegalta Sendai cruised to a 3-1 home win over Shimizu S-Pulse.

Antlers upset

KASHIWA, Chiba Pref. — Kashiwa Reysol beat the Kashima Antlers 1-0 to put an end to its 12-game winless drought in the J. League Division One on Saturday afternoon.

Brazilian midfielder Ricardinho blasted home the winning goal in the 54th minute off a pass from young forward Yuji Unozawa at Kashiwa-no-ha Stadium.

“The result is a great boost for our team,” said a jubilant Kashiwa manager Marco Aurelio. “Kashima is a good team but our players worked very hard.”(Kumi Kinohara)

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