FUKUOKA – J. League first-stage champion Kashima Antlers claimed a 2-1 win at struggling Avispa Fukuoka on Sunday, ending their three-game losing run in the second stage.
Shuhei Akasaki chipped over goalkeeper Ryuichi Kamiyama for the opener in the 27th minute after being played through by Mu Kanazaki. Yuma Suzuki rounded Kamiyama for the second 10 minutes from time. Former Japan international Yuichi Komano pulled one back for Avispa five minutes into stoppage time.
The first win in five matches for Kashima move it up to 10th in the second stage, while Avispa, without a win in five games, remain bottom, 18th in the season’s overall standings, seven points from safety.