SAPPORO – Jay Bothroyd canceled out an opening goal by FC Tokyo defender Tsuyoshi Watanabe when he deflected in a goal-bound shot from his teammate in a 1-1 draw at Consadole Sapporo on Saturday.
J. League leader FC Tokyo has 49 points and remains four points clear of the second-place Kashima Antlers on the first- division table.
In front of 19,454 fans at Sapporo Dome, Keigo Higashi’s free kick was headed home by Watanabe in the 37th minute, sending FC Tokyo into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
“I was waiting for this so I’m glad to finally get it. I knew that it was going in when I headed it,” Watanabe said before adding, “I’d be happier if we could have won.”
The visitors were unable to convert chances after the break, as neither Diego Oliveira —- who has 12 goals this season — nor Kensuke Nagai — who has eight — could deliver on any of their combined eight shots.
Two minutes into the second half, Consadole striker Musashi Suzuki was on the receiving end of a low cross from Daiki Suga. Suzuki’s right-footed shot took a deflection off Bothroyd’s left calf and redirected into the back of the net.
In other Saturday matches, Yokohama F. Marinos ended a three-game losing streak and improved to third place on 42 points with a 5-1 win over Nagoya Grampus.
Kawasaki Frontale held Shimizu S-Pulse to a 2-2 draw, while Cerezo Osaka beat last-place Jubilo Iwata 2-0. Vegalta Sendai drew 1-1 with Shonan Bellmare, while the match between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Oita Trinita ended in a scoreless draw.