Urawa Reds have extended their unbeaten run in the J.League to seven matches with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Kawasaki Frontale on Saturday.
The 2007 AFC Champions League winners made a slow straight to their domestic campaign this season, but continued their resurgence to move into 10th at Kawasaki.
An own goal from former Yokohama F Marinos defender Takanobu Komiyama in the ninth minute was enough to earn them the three points against the fifth-placed Kawasaki Frontale.
Meanwhile, league leaders Yokohama F Marinos made it seven wins from their last eight outings with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Omiya Ardija.
A second-half brace from striker Masashi Oguro put them three points clear of Kashiwa Reysol – who play on Sunday – after Rafael had put the visitors 1-0 up on 36 minutes.
Gamba Osaka moved into fourth with a 2-1 win at Jubilo Iwata.
Defender Daisuke Nasu had cancelled out Sota Nakazawa’s first-half strike before Rafinha struck a 72nd-minute winner for Gamba.
Elsewhere, Sanfrecce Hiroshima found the net twice in each half on their way to a surprisingly comfortable 4-0 win over Shimzu S-Pulse.
Striker Tadanari Lee and an own goal from Australian defender Eddy Bosnar had the hosts 2-0 up at the break.
They sealed the win with two goals in the last eight minutes as Georgia international David Mujiri scored, followed by Lee completing his brace.
A double from Takayuki Yoshida helped Vissel Kobe to an entertaining 4-2 win over Ventforet Kofu.
Defender Yosuke Ishibitsu and midfielder Hideo Tanaka also found the net for the home side, while Paulinho and Kim Sin-Young were on the scoresheet for Ventforet Kofu.
In the day’s other game, Montedio Yamagata remain in the relegation zone after a Atomu Tanaka strike gave Albirex Niigata a 1-0 win.