Yokohama F. Marinos took back the J.League lead with a 3-0 win over title rivals Urawa Reds at the Nissan Stadium on Wednesday.
Yasuhiro Higuchi’s men had been sat just behind Sanfrecce Hiroshima on goal difference after their weekend defeat to Kashima Antlers, but their impressive win over Urawa has now given them breathing space.
The result, Urawa's first loss in three games, came after Marquinhos netted his 16th goal of the season and 35-year-old Shunsuke Nakamura fired home a brace.
Mihailo Petrovic’s team now sit four points off the league leaders and one shy of Sanfrecce, who fell to a shock 2-0 defeat at Ventforet Kofu.
An early goal from midfielder Yoshifumi Kashiwa left the travelling side with some work to do, and they were unable to get a foothold in the game as Kazunari Hosaka sealed the points in the 52nd minute.
Kofu's second win in a row moved them further away from the relegation zone, with the league's bottom two, Oita Trinita and Jubilo Iwata, also losing out to Nagoya Grampus and Albirex Niigata respectively.
Rock-bottom Oita were edged out 2-1 after going ahead through Riki Matsuda, while Jubilo let a two-goal advantage slip as Kengo Kawamata's double, as well as efforts from Yuta Mikado and Roger Gaucho secured a 4-2 win for Albirex.
Omiya Ardija's rotten form continued as they lost their eighth game in a row, 2-1 to Kawasaki Frontale.
Tsutomu Ogura's outfit had looked like title challengers earlier in the campaign, but their terrible run has seen them slip out of contention for an AFC Champions League spot.
Kashiwa Reysol, on the other hand, are the league's form team, having gone unbeaten in their last nine outings.
Their latest success came courtesy of a 5-2 win over Shonan Bellmare, Kenta Kano and Masato Kudo each grabbing braces, while Junya Tanaka scored his third goal in his last two games.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, Vegalta Sendai and Cerezo Osaka played out the only draw which ended 1-1, while Shimizu S-Pulse and Sagan Tosu both clinched marginal victories.
Shimizu earned their 4-3 win over Kashima Antlers with a late effort from Toshiyuki Takagi, which marked his hat-trick, while Sagan Tosu’s 3-2 win over Tokyo came courtesy of a 85th-minute goal from Yohei Toyoda.
|25||S. Nakamura||27' 48'|
|Coach: Y. Higuchi|
for Marquinhos 81'
for S. Nakamura 88'
for S. Ogura 90+1'
|Arsenal have learned how to play against big teams - Ramsey|
|Shawcross to visit specialist over back woe|
|Fiorentina 2 Barcelona 1: Bernardeschi double sends Barca to another defeat|
|Mancini hints at Melo interest|
|Rodgers hails ´incredible´ Benteke strike|
|Galatasary 1 Inter 0: Sneijder sinks former club|
|Wenger defends Arsenal approach|
|Wembley loss has no bearing on new season - Terry|
|Porto cruise to friendly win over Stoke|
|Mourinho denies Wenger ´snub´ suggestions|
|Arsenal abandoned their philosophy to win Community Shield - Mourinho|
|Mourinho throws Community Shield medal into Wembley crowd|
|Swindon Town 1 Liverpool 2: Benteke nets stunner on debut|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Hearts win thriller on top-flight return|
|Ujah at the double as Bremen beat West Ham|
|Mourinho: We were the better team|
|Wenger hails defensive solidity|
|Rooney returns as Villarreal spoil Ferguson´s party|
|Rodriguez stunner earns Southampton draw as Caulker makes debut|
|Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0: Case of 14th time lucky for Wenger against Mourinho|
|Taechaubol announces Milan agreement|
|Jojic fires Cologne to latest victory|
|China 0 South Korea 2: Kim and Lee seal victory|
|Origi getting up to speed|
|Costa a doubt for start of season - Mourinho|
|North Korea 2 Japan 1: Halilhodzic´s men spurn lead|
|Allam brands FA ´amateurs´ as name-change row rumbles on|
|Fournier ´worried´ by Lyon pre-season|
|Swansea still working on Michu exit - Monk|
|Neuer furious at Bayern Supercup defeat|
|Wenger: Ozil signing not a mistake|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Shakhtar ready for Fenerbahce decider|
|Lampard targets MLS play-offs for City|
|MLS Review: Goals galore as DC United win 10-goal thriller|
|Ronaldinho returns and helps Fluminense to win|
|Keane: United won´t overtake Chelsea|
|Casillas has the ´enthusiasm of a 20-year-old´ - Lopetegui|
|Blanc hopeful over Ibrahimovic knee injury|
|Guardiola laments late goal in Supercup defeat|
|Tuchel plans to keep Bender|
|Hecking happy with Wolfsburg discipline after Supercup win|
|Arsenal players too interested in selfies and six-packs - Keane|
|Confusion over Ibrahimovic´s PSG future|
|Sporting Lisbon 2 Roma 0: Slimani, Mane inspire Portuguese hosts|
|Rodgers feeling ready for new campaign|
|Khedira to miss Supercoppa|
|Paris Saint-Germain 2 Lyon 0: Aurier and Cavani seal more silverware|
|Wolfsburg 1 Bayern Munich 1 (5-4 on penalties): Super-sub Bendtner nicks it for Pokal champions|
|Lampard´s long-awaited New York City debut ends in defeat|
|Casillas the spot-kick hero for Porto|
|Monk bullish ahead of season opener at champions|
|Marseille 2-0 Juventus: Night to forget for Serie A champions|
|Swansea end pre-season with yet another draw|
|HJK 0 Liverpool 2: Origi and Coutinho on target|
|Juventus rocked by Khedira injury scare|
|Lens and Pantilimon star as Sunderland beat Hannover|
|Pardew hopeful of concluding Wickham deal|
|Martinez allays Lukaku fears|
|Stuttgart 4 Manchester City 2: Cause for concern for Pellegrini|
|Wasteful Bournemouth held by Hoffenheim|
|Jerome seals Norwich win|
|Souare´s first goal ensures Palace draw|
|Sinclair hits hat-trick in Villa draw|
|Leicester end pre-season with thrilling Birmingham win|
|Wood and Mowatt condemn Everton to friendly defeat|
|Coloccini not involved as Newcastle lose to Gladbach|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Real Betis 0: Ramos scores on return from injury|
|Stoke lose to Cologne on Afellay debut|
|Norwich capture goalkeeper Kean|
|Jovetic hits out at Pellegrini following City exit|
|Jones backing new boys to spark United revival|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Celtic up and running, Dundee hammer Kilmarnock|
|Can keen to learn from Milner|
|Immobile on the mend following friendly scare|
|Sagan Tosu 1 Atletico Madrid 1 (1-4 on penalties): Simeone´s men need spot-kicks|
|Cahill: Big-spending rivals will make title race tougher|
|Roberto happy to play full-back for Barca|
|Gestede eager to make his mark at Villa|
|I want to play more and score more - Remy|
|Lambert influence important, says Pulis|
|Benteke a ´bargain´ buy - Rodgers|
|Zola: Qatar would be ideal for Balotelli, Cassano|
|Suarez: I´m not among world´s best|
|PSG ready despite ´chaotic´ pre-season - Blanc|
|Arsenal thumping still hurts - Fournier|
|Aubameyang targets Champions League success|
|Rooney set for Everton return|
|Cech can match Van der Sar - Wenger|
|Mourinho ponders Wenger´s losing record against him|
|CBF confirm Fred failed a doping test|