A typhoon bearing down on Kyushu failed to help the locals as Oita Trinita and Avispa Fukuoka went down to Gamba Osaka and Yokohama F. Marinos respectively. The tricky conditions in Oita failed to halt Gamba striker Ryuji Bando’s recent good form, as he struck twice before half-time to lead Gamba to a 2-0 win.
Urawa Reds kept hot on the heels of the leaders with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Substitute midfielder Nobuhisa Yamada scored an 86th winner that pulled Urawa two points clear of Kawasaki Frontale, who lost 4-3 at home to Jubilo Iwata.
One of the matches of the round took place at the National Stadium in Tokyo, where fourth-placed Shimizu S-Pulse took on fifth-placed rivals Kashima Antlers. It was the Antlers who came out on top in this one, as wonder strikes from Fernando and Takuya Nozawa gave Kashima a two goal advantage. Takuma Edamura pulled one back for S-Pulse but they must be rueing their decision to play the match away from Nihondaira Stadium, which has been a fortress for the Wingheads in recent weeks.
At the foot of the table, Kyoto Purple Sanga occupy the …