Defender Ryuho Kikuchi headed home a late equalizer as Vissel Kobe earned a 1-1 home draw to stop Kawasaki Frontale's perfect start to the season in the J. League first division on Wednesday.

Defending champion Kawasaki opened the season with five straight wins and looked headed for another three points following an instinctive long-range strike from Leandro Damiao in the 72nd minute before the dramatic finale to an enthralling encounter at Noevir Stadium.

Nagoya Grampus, which has a game in hand, is now a point behind Kawasaki after securing its fifth straight win, cruising 3-0 at home over bottom side Yokohama FC, which have lost all five of its matches.