SAITAMA – J. League second-stage leaders Urawa Reds held out against a second-half onslaught from first-stage champions Yokohama F. Marinos as they played to a scoreless draw in the J. League first division on Sunday.
Urawa maintained its five-point lead in the top flight after second-place Gamba Osaka failed to narrow the gap by salvaging a 2-2 draw at Sanfrecce Hiroshima after coming back from two goals down.
In a game played before a crowd of 58,334 at Saitama Stadium 2002, F. Marinos, who are nine points adrift of Urawa, stifled the home side in the first half before launching waves of attacks after the break.
JEF United Ichihara won 2-1 at Shimizu S-Pulse on an injury-time winner from late substitute Takenori Hayashi after former Japanese international Teruyoshi Ito struck a 71st-minute equalizer for the home side.
At the end of the table, Vissel Kobe beat bottom club Cerezo Osaka 2-1 away on goals from Ryuji Bando and Pavel Horvath.
Elsewhere, Tokyo Verdy held off hosts Oita Trinita 3-2 and Kashiwa Reysol drew 2-2 at home to Nagoya Grampus Eight. FC Tokyo and Jubilo Iwata played to a 0-0 draw at National Stadium.
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