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'
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