Kashiwa Reysol continued their golden start to the J-League season with a 2-1 defeat of fellow promotions Ventforet Kofu on Friday.
Kashiwa, who finished on top of the J2 League table with 80 points, rallied from a one-goal deficit at the break to snatch their third straight win of the season.
Kofu striker Mike Havenaar, who topped the second-division scorers’ table with 20 goals, nabbed his first strike of the season from the penalty spot in the 41st minute.
But Kashiwa were up to the task, riding second-half goals from strikers Junya Tanaka (59) and Hideaki Kitajima (64) to open up a two-point gap on top of the J-League table.
Their closest challenger is Vegalta Sendai, who edged Urawa Red Diamonds 1-0 on Yoshiaki Ota’s lone goal on 40 minutes.
Gamba Osaka rise to third on the table with six points, having defeated Montedio Yamagata in a 3-2 thriller.
The hosts were sitting pretty at half-time following an early brace to Brazilian marksman Adriano, but Kentaro Sato (69) and Takuya Miyamoto (74) combined to thrust Yamagata back into the contest as the second half wore on.
Korea Republic international Lee Keun-Ho had other ideas, however, firing an 86th-minute winner to ensure Gamba nabbed their second win of the season.
Elsewhere, J2 promotions Avispa Fukuoka remain anchored to the bottom of the standings following their third-straight defeat, 2-1 at home to Kashima Antlers.
Korean striker Lee Chun-Soo picked up his third goal in as many games as Omiya Ardija edged Vissel Kobe 1-0, while Cerezo Osaka were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against visiting Albirex Niigata.
Finally, Yokohama F Marinos and Shimizu S-Pulse also fought a 1-1 stalemate, the former relying on an 85th-minute equaliser from midfielder Shingo Hyodo.
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