Urawa Reds kept the fight for the J.League title alive with a 2-0 win over leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima on Saturday.
Goals from Tsukasa Umesaki and Keita Suzuki on either side of the interval secured the win for third-placed Urawa, who trail Sanfrecce by six points with two games remaining.
While an inferior goal difference has all but ruled Urawa out of the title hunt, second-placed Vegalta Sendai remain in contention despite a third consecutive draw.
Vegalta were held to a 3-3 draw at 13th-placed Kashima Antlers, who came from two goals down to salvage a point.
Sendai are one point behind Hiroshima, who are favoured to win their final two games against 12th-placed Cerezo Osaka and 15th-placed Vissel Kobe.
Elsewhere, fourth-placed Nagoya Grampus maintained the pressure on Urawa and the final AFC Champions League berth with a 2-0 win over Jubilo Iwata.
Nagoya are equal on points with Urawa but behind with an inferior goal difference.
Kawasaki Frontale accounted for Albirex Niigata 1-0 away from home, while Yokohama F. Marinos were beaten 2-1 by the visiting Kashiwa Reysol.
Sagan Tosu overcame Consadole Sapporo 3-2 on the road, and Vissel Kobe grabbed a 1-0 win at FC Tokyo.
Gamba Osaka claimed a 3-1 victory at Shimizu S-Pulse, while Omiya Ardija won 3-1 away to Cerezo Osaka.
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