Nagoya Grampus' top-three aspirations suffered a blow in the J. League first division on Sunday as the new Levain Cup winner were held to a 1-1 draw away against relegation-threatened Vegalta Sendai.

A week after winning their first major title since 2010, Grampus made a perfect start when Yoichiro Kakitani scored after 14 minutes at Yurtec Stadium, only for Vegalta's Takuma Nishimura to level two minutes after the break to share the spoils.

Grampus fell five points behind third-place Vissel Kobe and was overtaken by Kashima Antlers for the fourth spot on goal difference. The league's top three teams earn automatic qualification into next season's Asian Champions League.