YOKOHAMA – Yokohama F. Marinos missed out on an excellent opportunity to move into second place after being held to a last-gasp 1-1 draw by Kashiwa Reysol on Wednesday.
The J. League resumed after a two-week break for the East Asian Cup in South Korea as Marquinhos opened the scoring midway through the first half before Kashiwa equalized through an own goal in the 89th minute.
Champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima moved three points clear at the top of the table with a 3-1 victory over second-place Omiya Ardija behind a Naoki Ishihara hat-trick at the Edion Stadium, where Shin Kanazawa was sent off in the second half.
Marinos, on 35 points, stood in third, one point behind Ardija.
Yokohama livewire Manabu Saito created the first goal, picking up right where he left off from his impressive, full international debut at the East Asian Cup.
One minute past the half-hour, Saito sped down the right wing, drawing the defense before cutting back to Marquinhos, who volleyed off the bar.
Marquinhos did well to stay with it, chasing down his own rebound to net into the bottom corner for his 130th career goal in 269 appearances.
The hard work by both teams resulted in few chances throughout the match, especially for Kashiwa, who beat Marinos 2-1 at home back in May.
Early in the second half, Marquinhos had a one-on-one with goalkeeper Takanori Sugeno after being unleashed by Shingo Hyodo on the break.
But the Brazilian uncharacteristically failed to seize the opportunity, hitting into the side netting much to his disbelief.
The hosts continued their search for a second but again came up short, captain Shunsuke Nakamura slamming the bar with a 52nd-minute free kick.
Kashiwa went closest in the 78th minute, when Cleo found himself completely free inside the six-yard box but somehow fired wide right on a tough evening for the 2011 champions, who were lucky to leave the premises with a point thanks to a last-minute own goal from a corner.