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J-League Wrap: Urawa cut gap as Omiya Ardija held

Urawa Reds cut the gap at the top of the J-League to three points by capitalising on Omiya Ardija’s slip up against Sagan Tosu on Saturday.

A goal seven minutes from time by striker Daisuke Nasu gave Urawa a vital victory at Ventforet Kofu.

That win keeps the the title race very much alive, as an 83rd minute goal from Kei Ikeda earned relegation-threatened Sagan an unlikely point at Omiya after Takuya Aoki had given the league leaders the advantage 17 minutes in.

Third-placed Yokohama F. Marinos are five points off the top after they could only manage a home draw with bottom side Oita Trinita.

Rei Matsumoto put the visitors ahead after 31 minutes, but Shingo Hyodo denied Oita a famous win by notching the leveller six minutes into the second half.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima are a point further behind following their 1-0 win at Tokyo, with a 94th-minute effort from defender Hyung-Jin Park securing all three points for the AFC Champions League-chasers.

Kashima Antlers hopes of mounting a charge for the title were dealt a blow as they lost 4-2 at Kawasaki Frontale.

Kawasaki striker Yoshito Okubo netted twice for the hosts to move to the top of the scoring charts with 10 goals. Brazilian forward Renatinho gave Kawasaki the lead seven minutes in before Okubo struck to double the advantage.

Yuya Osako narrowed the gap after 38 minutes, but midfielder Kengo Nakamura quickly re-established the two-goal gap just before the break.

Okubo hit his double six minutes into the second half, rendering Takahide Umebachi’s late strike immaterial.

Sixth-placed Cerezo Osaka were forced to come from behind to snatch a point against second-bottom Jubilo Iwata.

Takamitsu Yoshino gave Cerezo the lead, but goals from Ryoichi Maeda and Hiroki Yamada put Jubilo on course for an unlikely win before Brazilian striker Edno spared the visitors’ blushes.

Two goals in six minutes handed Albirex Niigata a dramatic 3-2 success over Kashiwa Reysol, Atomu Tanaka equalising in the 88th minute before Hideya Okamoto notched the winner four minutes into injury time after Reysol had cancelled out Kengo Kawamata’s opener with goals from Masato Kudo and Brazilian Cleo.

Elsewhere, Nagoya Grampus pulled further clear of the relgation zone as an 89th-minute goal from Yoshizumi Ogawa guided them to a 2-1 win over Shimizu S-Pulse. Ogawa hit his second of the game after Taisuke Muramatsu had responded to his ninth-minute opener for the visitors.

The only goalless encounter of the round came as Vegalta Sendai were held by struggling Shonan Bellmare.

Sat 6 July, 2013
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