Hiroshima beats Kofu 2-0 to book spot in J-League postseason

TOKYO (AP) Sanfrecce Hiroshima beat Ventforet Kofu 2-0 on Saturday to extend its lead in the second-stage standings and secure a place in the J-League championship.

Kohei Shimizu scored one goal and set up the other as Hiroshima moved on to 34 points, three ahead of Kashima Antlers which lost 2-1 to Shonan Bellmare.

Douglas put Hiroshima ahead after 15 minutes and Shimizu sealed victory on the half hour mark for the 2013 champions.

Defender Tomoaki Makino scored the winner as first-stage winners Urawa Reds beat FC Tokyo 4-3.

Montedio Yamagata joins Shimizu S-Pulse as the second team to be relegated after a 3-1 loss to Vissel Kobe. Kazuma Watanabe scored a hat trick for Kobe.

Elsewhere, Yokohama F Marinos beat Kawasaki Frontale 1-0 and Sagan Tosu edged relegation-threatened Matsumoto Yamaga 2-1.

Kensuke Nagai scored twice as Nagoya Grampus beat Albirex Niigata 4-2, and Kashiwa Reysol beat relegated Shimizu 3-0.

The winner of each stage and the top three clubs of the aggregate table qualify for the championship which starts in late November.

Vegalta Sendai hosts last season’s domestic treble winner Gamba Osaka on Sunday.