Kashima beats Reysol to keep pace with Hiroshima in J-League

KASHIMA, Japan (AP) Mu Kanezaki and Yuma Suzuki scored second-half goals as Kashima Antlers beat Kashiwa Reysol 3-2 Saturday to keep pace with Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the J-League’s second-stage standings.

Cristiano gave Kashiwa a 2-1 lead in the 39th minute but Kanezaki equalized with a header midway through the second half and Suzuki sealed the win in the final minute of regulation.

With three rounds remaining, Kashima and Hiroshima both have 31 points with Antlers trailing on goal difference.

Satoru Yamagishi scored the winning goal in stoppage time as Sanfrecce beat Kawasaki Frontale 2-1.

Also, treble winner Gamba Osaka beat first-stage winner Urawa Reds 2-1, while Yokohama F Marinos defeated Vissel Kobe by the same score.

Gamba’s win puts it within two points of FC Tokyo in the overall standings.

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

Elsewhere, Daisuke Kikuchi scored in the 55th minute as Shonan Bellmare beat FC Tokyo 2-1, and Sho Inagaki gave Ventforet Kofu a 1-0 win over Montedio Yamagata. Sagan Tosu and Nagoya Grampus finished in a goalless draw.

Shimizu S-Pulse’s relegation to the second division was confirmed following a 1-0 defeat to Vegalta Sendai coupled with Albirex Niigata’s 2-0 win over Matsumoto Yamaga.