Hiroshima secures place in J-League championship

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

Kohei Shimizu scored a goal and set up another as Hiroshima improved to 34 points, three ahead of Kashima Antlers which lost 2-1 to Shonan Bellmare.

First-stage winners Urawa Reds beat FC Tokyo 4-3 while Montedio Yamagata joins Shimizu S-Pulse as the second team to be relegated after a 3-1 loss to Vissel Kobe.

Also, 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.

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