Only twice in the J. League's previous 12 seasons under a single-stage format has the first-division champion been decided with games to spare.

Now that number stands at three.

Kawasaki Frontale may have lost 2-1 at Cerezo Osaka on Saturday afternoon, but Sanfrecce Hiroshima's 1-0 loss to Vegalta Sendai ensured the Kanagawa Prefecture side of a first-place finish in the 2018 campaign.