Urawa sets successive shutout record with win at Tokushima


Former Asian club champions Urawa Reds tightened their grip on top spot in the first division on Wednesday with a 2-0 win away to rock-bottom Tokushima Vortis, setting a J. League record in the process with a seventh consecutive clean sheet.

Defender Tomoaki Makino opened the scoring on 14 minutes at Pocari Sweat Stadium, clipping in a free kick from Yosuke Kashiwagi.

Shinzo Koroki then sealed victory shortly before the hour mark, sweeping in a through ball from Tsukasa Umesaki to move Reds four points clear at the top of the table.

Second-placed Sagan Tosu went down 1-0 at home to Kawasaki Frontale, Kyohei Noborizato netting from a tight angle with a shot that hit both posts to give Frontale their third win in a row.

Reds have 35 points, Sagan have 31 and third-place Frontale have 30.

Fourth-place Kashima Antlers (26) twice led through goals from Davi and Caio, but were held 2-2 at home to Omiya Ardija.

Koji Morisaki came off the bench to wrap up the scoring as reigning champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima (26) overpowered visiting Kashiwa Reysol 5-2, and Vissel Kobe were a further point off the pace, Pedro Junior scoring in a 1-1 draw away to Yokohama F. Marinos.

At Yurtec Stadium, former J-League Player of the Year Leandro Domingues was on target for his new team, earning Nagoya Grampus a 3-3 draw away to Vegalta Sendai in the second minute of second-half stoppage time.

Yoshinori Muto’s goal earned FC Tokyo a 1-0 win at Albirex Niigata, while Ventforet Kofu and Cerezo Osaka played out a goalless draw in Kofu.