Sanfrecce Hiroshima snatches J-League title

Sanfrecce Hiroshima snatched their second-straight J-League

title with a 2-0 win at Kashima Antlers on Saturday as Yokohama F

Marinos – which led by two points at the start of the final day –

lost 1-0 at Kawasaki Frontale.

Naoki Ishihara scored both goals for Sanfrecce, finding the net

in the 34th and 79th minutes to take his season tally to 10.

Kawasaki’s goal came from Brazilian Renato in the 54th

minute.

Yokohama’s Shunsuke Nakamura came close to equalizing deep in

stoppage time but Kawasaki goalkeeper Yohei Nishibe made a

spectacular diving save to preserve the lead.

The Marinos lost their final two games, blowing a comfortable

lead that had them poised for a fourth title.

Hiroshima finished the 34-game campaign with 63 points, one

clear of Yokohama. Kawasaki (60) clinched third place. The top

three teams qualify for next season’s Asian Champions League.

Hiroshima got a break when Kawasaki striker Yuya Osako was

booked for the second time and sent off after a foul on Tsukasa

Shiotani late in the first half.

In other matches, Yoichiro Kakitani scored twice as Cerezo Osaka

trounced Urawa Reds 5-2 to secure fourth place. Kashima placed

fifth and Reds sixth.

Nagoya Grampus lost 2-0 to Albirex Niigata in manager Dragan

Stojkovic’s last game in charge while FC Tokyo won 2-0 over Vegalta

Sendai and Omiya Ardija edged relegated Shonan Bellmare 1-0

away.

Kashiwa Reysol beat Shimizu S-Pulse 2-1 and Jubilo Iwata downed

Oita Trinita 3-1 in a showdown between the bottom two teams.

Ventforet Kofu against Sagan Tosu finished in a goalless draw.