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J.League wrap: Neck and neck at top after draws

By Football News



The J.League's top two both picked up points on Saturday as Tokyo hammered relegated Consadole Sapporo 5-0.

Leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima rescued a point late on in a 1-1 draw at Gamba Osaka and saw second-placed Vegalta Sendai surrender a one-goal lead at Jubilo Iwata.

Both sides are on 55 points after the stalemates with Sanfrecce ahead on goal difference.

Japanese international Yasuhito Endo struck for relegation-threatened Gamba Osaka but Kazuyuki Morisaki was on hand in the 76th minute to make it 1-1.

Vegalta had gone provisional top through Shingo Akamine on 77 minutes but were felled by Kosuke Yamamoto, who made it 1-1 for Jubilo Iwata.

Naohiro Ishikawa scored a brace for Tokyo as they hit five goals past already relegated Consadole Sapporo, with four coming in the second half.

Third-placed Urawa Reds could not break through in a goalless draw with Cerezo Osaka and remain six points behind the top two.

Omiya Ardija were the other big winners, moving three points clear of the drop zone with a surprise 4-1 victory away to Kashiwa Reysol.

Zlatan Ljubijankic wrapped up his hat-trick for the visitors shortly after half-time to make it 3-0 in a one-sided clash.

Nagoya Grampus were stunned by Shunsuke Nakamura's stoppage-time equaliser after Keiji Tamada had give the home side a 1-0 lead three minutes from time.

Shimizu S-Pulse stayed in fourth with a 2-1 win against the Kashima Antlers and Yohei Toyoda scored both goals for Sagan Tosu in a 2-0 win over Albirex Niigata.

Vissel Kobe picked up another point on the road to survival after an entertaining 3-3 draw with Kawasaki Frontale.

Ken Tokura scored his second goal of the game as Vissel Kobe turned around a 3-1 deficit in the last 21 minutes.