Sanfrecce Hiroshima claimed their first J.League title on Saturday after a 4-1 home win over Cerezo Osaka.
Sanfrecce entered the weekend one point clear of Vegalta Sendai with two matches to play, but Sendai suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to second-bottom Albirex Niigata, meaning Sanfrecce’s 4-1 win gave them an unassailable four-point lead with one match to play.
Yojiro Takahagi, Toshihiro Aoyama and Hisato Sato all netted in the first half for Sanfrecce, and when Hironori Ishikawa scored five minutes after the break, the home side were cruising at 4-0.
Takuma Edamura scored a consolation for the visitors just after the hour mark, and when news filtered through that Sendai had been beaten by Niigata, the final whistle triggered jubilant scenes at the Hiroshima Big Arch.
Sanfrecce fans might want to include Albirex Niigata defender Jin-Su Kim on their Christmas card list this year, as it was his goal that led his side to the 1-0 defeat of Sendai.
Kim struck in the 17th minute and Sendai failed to find the back of the net for the remainder of the match despite dominating the majority of possession.
In other matches on Saturday, the Kashima Antlers won 2-1 at Nagoya Grampus, Sagan Tosu were 3-1 victors against the Urawa Reds, Yokohama F. Marinos downed Consadole Sapporo 2-0 and Omiya Ardija triumphed 2-0 against Jubilo Iwata.
Kashiwa Reysol beat Vissel Kobe 1-0, Kawasaki Frontale outgunned Shimizu S-Pulse 2-1, while Gamba Osaka and Tokyo played out an entertaining 2-2 draw.
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