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Albirex Niigata squandered the chance to cut Kashima Antlers’ lead at the top of the table to eight points after succumbing to a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw at home to Montedio Yamagata in the J. League on Sunday.

Marcio Richardes’ 48th-minute free kick looked to have made the points safe for Niigata but Yu Hasegawa popped up a minute from time to earn the visitors a share of the spoils at Big Swan.

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