KASHIMA, Ibaraki Pref. – Midfielder Hiroyuki Taniguchi struck a second-half double to help Kawasaki Frontale beat Kashima Antlers 4-2 away to stay top of the J. League on Wednesday.
Taniguchi rifled home a 60th-minute equalizer from 20 meters out and added his second with a header eight minutes later to put Kawasaki ahead after a brace from Alex Mineiro, including a spot kick early in the second half, gave the home side a 2-1 lead.
Substitute Chong Tese later added a fourth for Kawasaki, who extended its unbeaten run to 10 league matches.
Kawasaki moved onto 30 points from 13 games with the victory in their first match after the resumption of the first division calendar following a two-month break for the World Cup.
Gamba Osaka remained one point adrift of Kawasaki after coming from behind to beat host JEF United Chiba 2-1.
Ryuji Bando scored what turned out to be the winning goal eight minutes from time.
Nakayama canceled out the opener from Mario Haas as Gamba spoiled the first game in charge by Amar Osim, who has taken over as Chiba manager after his father Ivica Osim was tapped as Japan coach shortly after the end of Japan’s World Cup campaign.
Urawa Reds were dealt a blow to their title hopes at the hands of Albirex Niigata, which ran out a 2-1 winner at home thanks to goals in each half by Edmilson and Silvinho.
Elsewhere, a late strike from Akihiro Hyodo moved Shimizu S-Pulse into fifth place with a 1-0 home win over Yokohama F. Marinos.
Shota Matsuhashi and Tsukasa Umesaki were on target to give Oita Trinita a comfortable 2-0 win at bottom club Cerezo Osaka, while Omiya Ardija edged Jubilo Iwata 2-1 at home courtesy of an 86th-minute winner from Naoto Sakurai.
Ventforet Kofu beat lowly Kyoto Purple Sanga 3-1 and Sanfrecce Hiroshima downed Nagoya Grampus Eight 3-2. FC Tokyo and Avispa Fukuoka played out a goal-less draw.
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