Urawa Reds moved into second place in the J.League on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Albirex Niigata.
Shinzo Koroki's strike a minute after the hour mark proved decisive at the Saitama Stadium 2002, with other results at the top also going the way of Mihailo Petrovic's side.
Leaders Yokohama F. Marinos were beaten 1-0 by Omiya Ardija thanks to a Daigo Watanabe goal three minutes before the break.
The loss was only Yokohama's fifth of the season and the defeat means the gap between the top two now stands at just one point.
There was further good news for Urawa as third-place Sanfrecce Hiroshima lost 2-1 to FC Tokyo thanks to a late Takuji Yonemoto goal.
Kazuma Watanabe gave Tokyo the lead at the EDION Stadium but Hisato Sato equalised after 62 minutes.
However, Yonemoto put his side ahead again nine minutes from time to give Tokyo their first win in five games.
Kashima Antlers are now just three points behind Hajime Moriyasu's side, who occupy the final AFC Champions League spot after their third win in five games.
Juninho's brace helped Antlers to a 3-1 win over Kashiwa Reysol.
At the bottom, Oita Trinita's winless run was extended to 12 games after a 3-2 defeat to Shimizu S-Pulse.
The league's bottom side were 3-0 down after 63 minutes but almost staged a dramatic fightback when Yasuhito Morishima struck twice in the last eight minutes.
However, he was unable to complete his hat-trick, and a memorable comeback, with Trinita now six points adrift at the foot of the table.
Trinita were the only side in the bottom three to lose, with Jubilo Iwata drawing 1-1 with Ventforet Kofu and Shonan Bellmare recording their first win in six games.
Kwi-Jea Cho's men were 3-2 winners against Vegalta Sendai, with the win moving them to within five points of safety.
Cerezo Osaka dropped to fifth after their goalless draw with Kawasaki Frontale while Kota Mizunuma's equaliser secured Sagan Tosu a point against Nagoya Grampus.
|Coach: M. Petrović|
for K. Suzuki 56'
for Marcio Richardes 70'
for Y. Kashiwagi 73'
|Santiago Wanderers 1 Palestino 6 (agg 2-9): 36-year drought ends for visitors|
|Juan Aurich 2 Sporting Cristal 3 (aet, agg 4-5): Chavez hands visitors Peruvian title|
|Liga del Futbol Profesional Boliviano Review: Bolivar win title|
|Mancini plays down Lennon transfer rumours|
|Ligue 1 Review: Marseille end 2014 top of the table, Lyon leapfrog PSG|
|Kovacic has mixed emotions after Inter draw|
|Serie A Review: Lazio go third despite Inter rally, Sampdoria held|
|La Liga Review: Griezmann the man for Atleti, Villarreal gain fifth straight win|
|Primeira Liga Review: Benfica win six straight|
|Athletic Bilbao 1 Atletico Madrid 4: Griezmann hat-trick seals comeback win|
|Inter 2 Lazio 2: Hosts rally to claim draw|
|McCoist makes Rangers exit|
|Sturridge on course for January return - Rodgers|
|Liverpool getting back on track, says Rodgers|
|Wenger bemoans failure to defend set-pieces|
|Bundesliga Review: Hoffenheim enjoy big win, Freiburg falter late on|
|Zorc: Dortmund to stick with Klopp|
|Liverpool 2 Arsenal 2: Bandaged Skrtel rescues a draw|
|I have no problem with Payet, insists Bielsa|
|Eredivisie Review: Ajax leave it late, Vitesse finally win|
|Pardew rues over-zealous Newcastle approach|
|Benitez hopeful ahead of Supercoppa|
|I nearly took Johnson off - Poyet|
|Johnson revels in derby late show|
|Juventus must maintain focus, warns Allegri|
|Newcastle United 0 Sunderland 1: Johnson settles derby|
|Carlos leaves Sivasspor post|
|Dundee United 2 Celtic 1: Ciftci inspires surprise win|
|Mourinho against use of independent panels|
|Hartlepool not interested in signing Evans|
|Reed delighted with first Southampton start|
|Bremen agree Oztunali loan|
|Irvine backs Ideye to end goal drought|
|Carrick backs Falcao to kick on|
|Dortmund will come back stronger, vows Klopp|
|Bojan senior slams Barcelona|
|Eredvisie title not won yet - Depay|
|Sterling eager to catch Arsenal cold|
|Monk: Ki will be sorely missed|
|Bruce looking to recall Hull duo from loan spells|
|Allardyce: Pearson deserves time|
|Sydney 0 Wellington Phoenix 2: Burns at the double|
|Real Madrid 2 San Lorenzo 0: Spanish giants complete triumphant 2014|
|McCoist: Departures sucking life out of Rangers|
|Hargreaves urges Sterling to stay put|
|Herediano 1 Deportivo Saprissa 1 (agg 3-5): Draw hands visitors consecutive titles|
|Tribulietx basks in Auckland City´s heroics|
|San Lorenzo´s Bauza applauds Ancelotti|
|Wenger: Sanchez a Footballer of the Year candidate|
|Chelsea like United´s treble-winning team - Hargreaves|
|Ancelotti: Copa del Rey victory inspired Real´s stunning run|
|La Liga Review: Catalan clubs triumph|
|Milan on right track - Inzaghi|
|Estoril 1 Vitoria Guimaraes 0: Kleber checks visitors´ momentum|
|Eredivisie Review: PSV in Eagles demolition, AZ downed at home|
|Garcia fumes at missed handball|
|Serie A Review: 10-man Milan frustrate Roma, Cesena rescue point|
|Roma 0 Milan 0: Hosts denied despite Armero red|
|Ligue 1 Review: PSG held at home, Monaco claim fourth win in a row|
|Bundesliga Review: Bremen off bottom with Dortmund win, Augsburg beat Gladbach|
|Blanc frustrated after drab stalemate|
|League Two Review: Moore´s Hartlepool tenure begins with draw|
|Championship Review: Blackpool hit for six, Middlesbrough slip up|
|Luis Enrique enjoying Pedro´s resurgence|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Aberdeen move to second, St Mirren misery continues|
|Koeman delighted with clinical Southampton|
|Pochettino tips in-form Kane for England call-up|
|Dortmund are ´idiots´ - Klopp|
|Allardyce hails ´outstanding´ Downing|
|Young admitted fault after Agbonlahor dismissal, says Lambert|
|Pearson not concerned with speculation|
|Bruce: Hull simply not good enough|
|Everton must improve - Martinez|
|Irvine rues sloppy defending|
|Cruz Azul 1 Auckland City 1 (2-4 on pens): Plucky New Zealanders claim third|
|Austin an example for young strikers - Redknapp|
|Dyche takes pride in White Hart Lane defeat|
|Arabian Gulf League Review: Al Shabab strike late to sink Al Dhafra, top two win|
|Swansea win vindicated changes, says Monk|
|Van Gaal frustrated by dropped points at Villa|
|Paris Saint-Germain 0 Montpellier 0: Champions frustrated by Courbis´ men|
|League One Review: Wilson gains landmark win as Bristol City and Swindon falter|
|Hull City 0 Swansea City 1: Monk´s men celebrate rare away win|
|Southampton 3 Everton 0: Koeman´s side back to winning ways|
|Aston Villa 1 Manchester United 1: Visitors held despite Agbonlahor dismissal|
|QPR 3 West Brom 2: Austin treble lifts hosts out of drop zone|
|Barcelona 5 Cordoba 0: Suarez opens Liga account in emphatic win|
|Tottenham 2 Burnley 1: Lamela stunner wins it for Spurs|
|West Ham 2 Leicester City 0: Carroll, Downing seal the points|
|Werder Bremen 2 Borussia Dortmund 1: Hosts off the bottom by adding to Klopp´s woes|
|Kerala Blasters 0 Atletico de Kolkata 1: Last-gasp Rafique seals inaugural title|
|Warnock fumes over disallowed goal|
|Pellegrini hails Silva quality|
|Betis announce Mel return|
|Huntelaar signs Schalke extension|
|Juventus v Napoli: Allegri backs Tevez to make difference|
|Stoke City v Chelsea: Mourinho calls for adaptability|
|Manchester City 3 Crystal Palace 0: Silva strikes twice as champions go joint-top|
|A-League Review: City snatch Melbourne derby honours, Glory pull further clear|
|Mancini: Inter can finish third|
|Sterling revels in Golden Boy award|
|Pellegrini: You never win a title in December|
|Rodgers bemoans Sanchez snub|
|Ayew confident Marseille can beat title rivals|
|Mercier: San Lorenzo won´t roll over to Real Madrid|
|Lukaku: I´m still 21|
|Mainz bemoan ´tragic´ loss to Bayern|
|Rojo ruled out for Villa trip|
|Lopetegui thrilled with Porto response|