SAITAMA – Urawa Reds opened up a six-point lead at the top of the J. League on Saturday after a 3-1 win at home to nine-man Kashiwa Reysol.
Former Reysol defender Daisuke Nasu headed in a superb cross from Tadaaki Hirakawa to put Urawa in front in the 21st minute, and Yosuke Kashiwagi doubled the lead seven minutes later at Saitama Stadium 2002, drilling home after taking a clever back heel from Tadanari Lee.
Masato Kudo set up Kaoru Takayama to head in and pull one back for Reysol, but the visitors were reduced to 10 men on 51 minutes when goalkeeper Takanori Sugeno was given his marching orders after a second yellow card.
Sugeno upended Shinzo Koroki in the box and the former Kashima Antlers striker buried the ensuing penalty to restore Reds’ two-goal cushion. Reysol’s misery was complete when Eduardo was also booked for a second time and sent off seven minutes from time.
Reds (50) moved six clear of Kawasaki Frontale, who were held 0-0 at home to FC Tokyo, and third-place Sagan Tosu, who beat Vegalta Sendai 2-1 thanks to goals from Yohei Toyoda and Kota Mizunuma.
Yasushi Endo’s first-half strike gave fourth-place Kashima (43) Antlers a 1-0 win at home to Yokohama F. Marinos and an 89th-minute strike from Akihiro Sato saw Gamba Osaka (40) beat struggling Cerezo Osaka 2-0 to claim local bragging rights.
At Mizuho Stadium, Kensuke Nagai wrapped up a 2-0 win for Nagoya Grampus at home to Ventforet Kofu, and Pedro Junior’s double helped Vissel Kobe see off visiting Shimizu S-Pulse 3-1.
Toshihiro Aoyama and Naoki Ishihara were on target as reigning champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima beat visiting Albirex Niigata 2-0, while at the bottom of the table Omiya Ardija won by the same scoreline at fellow strugglers Tokushima Vortis.