Kawasaki beats Bellmare 2-0 to stay top of J-League

TOKYO (AP) " Yoshito Okubo and Yu Kobayashi scored second-half goals on Saturday as Kawasaki Frontale beat Shonan Bellmare 3-2 to remain in first place in the J-League.

Shintaro Kurumaya opened the scoring for Kawasaki in the first half and Okubo widened the lead three minutes after the break. Kobayashi made it 3-0 with his 12th of the season before two late goals by the hosts made for a tense finish.

Kawasaki improved to 16 points in the second-stage and leads Urawa Reds on goal difference. Reds beat Ventforet Kofu 2-0 on goals by Yuki Muto and Tadanari Lee.

Muto headed in the opener in the 14th minute and Lee volleyed in his eighth from close range just before the break as Urawa won for the seventh time in eight games.

In other matches, Sagan Tosu beat first-stage winners Kashima Antlers 1-0 to stay two points behind Kawasaki and Urawa in third place thanks to a 20-minute strike from Yohei Toyoda.

Vissel Kobe beat Omiya Ardija 1-0 while Avispa Fukuoka, bottom in the overall standings, was held to a 1-1 draw by Vegalta Sendai.

Gamba Osaka edged defending champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1-0; Kashiwa Reysol beat Jubilo Iwata 2-1; and Yokohama F Marinos and Nagoya Grampus finished 0-0.

Also, FC Tokyo beat Albirex Niigata 1-0 to give manager Yoshiyuki Shinoda his first win after he replaced Hiroshi Jofuku.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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