After a two-month break for the FIFA World Cup, the 2018 MEIJI YASUDA J1 League resumed on Wednesday night with some teams showing little rust and others demonstrating a need for dramatic change over the summer.
The most lopsided result took place in Yurtec Stadium with Vegalta Sendai losing 8-2 to a dominant Yokohama F. Marinos. The visitors found themselves up 4-0 at halftime through a brace by Sho Ito and goals from Jun Amano as well as Teruhito Nakagawa. Ito completed his hat-trick before the hour mark, and Ange Postecoglou’s men tied the club scoring record for a single match when Cameroonian midfielder Olivier Boumal slotted home in the 81st minute.
League leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima spent nearly the entirety of their 4-0 win over Gamba Osaka with a one-man advantage following the eighth-minute ejection of defender Fabio. Ace striker Patric extended his tally for the season to 12 goals with a brace in the first half, while Masato Kuto scored his first goal of the season and Teerasil Dangda netted his fourth.
FC Tokyo kept the gap between first and second at nine points with a 1-0 win at Kashiwa Reysol. The lone goal of the match, an own goal by Park Jeong-su in the 61st minute, was overshadowed by an accident during the play in which Tokyo striker Cayman Togashi collided with Reysol’s Kosuke Nakamura. The Samurai Blue backup goalkeeper was carried off and diagnosed with his second concussion in three months, unwelcome news for both club and country.
Sagan Tosu, playing without new signing Fernando Torres, were saved by a Keisuke Saka own goal in a 1-1 draw at Shonan Bellmare. Vissel Kobe had better results without their own Spanish star Andres Iniesta, winning 1-0 at V-Varen Nagasaki as Theerathon Bunmathan assisted Wellington. Both former Spain internationals are expected to be in their respective squads in the league’s 17th round on Sunday, July 22.
Results: 2018 J1 League Round 17
Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 1-2 Kawasaki Frontale
Vegalta Sendai 2-8 Yokohama F. Marinos
Kashiwa Reysol 0-1 FC Tokyo
Shonan Bellmare 1-1 Sagan Tosu
Shimizu S-Pulse 3-0 Cerezo Osaka
Jubilo Iwata 3-3 Kashima Antlers
Sanfrecce Hiroshima 4-0 Gamba Osaka
V-Varen Nagasaki 0-1 Vissel Kobe
Urawa Reds 3-1 Nagoya Grampus