Current J.League 1 leaders Kawasaki Frontale cemented their position in the J1 summit after triumphing in their Matchday 17 outing on Sunday night. Visiting Urawa Red Diamonds at their Saitama Stadium 2002, Kawasaki eased their way to a 3-0 victory that extended the gap between themselves and second-placed Cerezo Osaka to eight points.
It was a very straightforward win for Toru Oniki’s charges – veteran midfielder Akihiro Ienaga and attacking midfielder Yasuto Wakizaka combined together to tear Urawa’s defense apart in the 37th minute, with Wakizaka passing to Ienaga before he proceeded to open up some space within the Urawa defense. Ienaga then chipped the ball towards Yamane, who filled in the space provided by Wakizaka before smashing in a powerful volley that Urawa custodian Shusaku Nishikawa was unable to save.
Kawasaki then doubled their lead in the 50th minute, being helped to their second goal by some poor defending from Urawa. Manabu Saito was given too much space deep within Urawa territory and the striker crossed the ball towards teammate Yu Kobayashi. Urawa’s Tomoaki Makino was unable to stop Kobayashi as he headed the ball into Nishikawa’s goal to double Kawasaki’s lead.
Being two goals down prompted Urawa to pepper Kawasaki’s defense as they attempted to chase the game, but Kawasaki’s defenders did their job well to keep Jung Sung-ryong’s goal untouched. Instead, the league leaders wrapped up another good day at the office with a third goal that practically killed off the contest – substitute Leandro Damiao pouncing on the rebound after Nishikawa had parried a shot by fellow substitute Taisei Miyashiro in the second minute of injury time. 3-0 Kawasaki and that was the final scoreline as the league leaders returned home to Kanagawa Prefecture with all three points.
Elsewhere, a goal from Tatsuya Tanaka in the first half ensured a 1-0 win for Oita Trinita over Yokohama FC at the Showa Denko Dome, while FC Tokyo had Hirotaka Mita to thank as his first half goal ensured that the Gasmen squeaked past Vegalta Sendai 1-0 at the Ajinomoto Stadium.