Seven-goal Frontale return to top


Juninho struck twice as Kawasaki Frontale registered an emphatic 7-0 win over 10-man Sanfrecce Hiroshima on Sunday to reclaim pole position in the J. League.

Yusuke Mori set up Juninho to put Frontale on their way before the home side, boosted by the 26th-minute dismissal of Hiroshima defender Ryota Moriwaki, ran riot with six goals after the break at Todoroki Stadium.

Chong Tese, Yusuke Tasaka, Renatinho, Kengo Nakamura and substitute Kyohei Noborizato all put their names on the scoresheet before Juninho completed the rout in the last minute with his 16th goal of the season.

Frontale (55) moved one point clear of champions Kashima Antlers, who had briefly gone top of the table after a 3-0 whipping of hapless JEF United Chiba on Saturday, but Shimizu S-Pulse’s title aspirations took another hit after a 2-1 reverse at home to FC Tokyo.

S-Pulse’s second consecutive defeat keeps them on 50 points, one ahead of FC Tokyo. Hiroshima dropped into seventh place.

At Outsourcing Stadium, Tatsuya Suzuki met Yuhei Tokunaga’s cross to head Tokyo in front after just four minutes.

Shimizu quickly got back on level terms through national team striker Shinji Okazaki, but Kenta Hasegawa’s side crashed to their first home defeat in 23 matches when Kosuke Ota gifted Tokyo victory by diving to head into his own net.

Elsewhere, Brazilian striker Rafael hit a brace as Omiya Ardija claimed local bragging rights and took a giant step toward first-division survival with a 3-0 win over Urawa Reds, who had Robson Ponte sent off four minutes before halftime at Saitama Stadium.

Victory for Omiya also dealt a devastating blow to JEF United Chiba, who barring a miracle will be joining Oita Trinita in the second-division wilderness next season.

Omiya is just above the drop zone in 15th place with 36 points. Kashiwa Reysol are nine points back, with Chiba second from bottom on 24.

Oita’s fate was sealed after a 1-1 draw away to 10-man Kyoto Sanga on Saturday.

In Sunday’s other game, Ryoichi Maeda helped himself to a hat trick to take his tally for the season to a league-leading 18 goals, but Jubilo Iwata squandered a 3-0 lead in a 3-3 draw away to Nagoya Grampus.