SAPPORO - Thai international Chanathip Songkrasin continued his good run of form on Sunday, scoring the winner for Consadole Sapporo in a 3-2 come from behind victory over FC Tokyo.
The win lifted Consadole to 35 points, five behind of Tokyo, which started the day third on the table. The victory snapped a three-game winless streak and marked Consadole’s first league win at home since May 5. It was the Thai’s sixth goal of the season and his third in five games.
Chanathip found space outside the box before firing just inside the left post to bag the three points.
“I didn’t have any options but to shoot at that instant, and it was a bit of a lucky goal,” the 24-year-old said. “Of course I’m happy that my goal could contribute to our team’s victory.”
Diego Oliveira opened the scoring in the 33rd minute at Sapporo Dome. His strike partner Kensuke Nagai set up the goal after beating a defender to a long ball down the left side.
Oliveira was left in space by his defender and Nagai crossed to his right, finding the Brazilian who coolly side-footed it into the net from near the penalty spot.
In first-half injury time, Jang Hyun-soo scored on Kosuke Ota’s cross from the right to put the visitors in the driver’s seat.
Eight minutes after the break, Ken Tokura scored for the second straight game. Defender Akito Fukumori chipped the ball into the heart of the penalty area where Tokura dove at the ball, connecting with a header that left keeper Akihiro Hayashi flat-footed.
Consadole equalized 15 minutes later with a superb effort that earned substitute Kosuke Shirai his first career goal. Getting the ball just outside the penalty area, Shirai dribbled right and parallel to goal before duping two defenders and launching a rocket into the top right corner.
Yu Kobayashi’s brace lifted second-place Kawasaki Frontale to a 2-1 victory over league leaders Hiroshima Sanfrecce after leading J1 scorer Patric broke the ice with his 17th goal. The win pulled Frontale to 43 points, six shy of Sanfrecce.
The game ended with Patric diving for a header and pleading with the referee for a penalty, claiming he had been held back by a defender, an argument that continued after the final whistle.
Vissel Kobe remained fourth on 36 points with a 2-0 win at Shonan Bellmare. Cerezo Osaka trail Vissel on goal difference after a 2-0 win at V-Varen Nagasaki, who fell to the bottom of the table behind 17th-place Gamba Osaka on goal difference. Gamba lost 2-1 at Vegalta Sendai.
Nagoya Grampus moved three points clear of the relegation zone, beating Sagan Tosu 3-0 at home for their fifth straight win. The loss dropped Sagan to third from the bottom on 22 points.
Elsewhere, Kashima Antlers beat Yokohama F. Marinos 1-0 at home, Jubilo Iwata beat Kashiwa Reysol 2-0 at home and Tomoaki Makino’s 72nd-minute equalizer allowed Urawa Reds to draw 3-3 at Shimizu S-Pulse.