Hiroshima beats Gamba Osaka 2-0 in J-League's 2nd stage

TOKYO (AP) Sanfrecce Hiroshima beat Gamba Osaka 2-0 on Saturday to move a step closer to clinching the J-League's second-stage title.

Striker Douglas opened the scoring with a free kick in the 55th minute and Kohei Shimizu sealed the win with one minute left as Hiroshima moved three points clear of Kashima Antlers in the second-stage standings with one round remaining.

The winner of each stage and the top three clubs of the aggregate table qualify for the J-League championship which starts on Nov. 28.

First-stage winners Urawa Reds were held to a 1-1 by Kawasaki Frontale

Brazilian Ciao scored both goals as Kashima beat Yokohama F Marinos 2-0, and Masato Morishige scored a 16th-minute penalty as FC Tokyo beat Kashiwa Reysol 1-0. Elsewhere, Milivoje Novakovic scored two goals to lead Nagoya Grampus to a 4-2 win over Ventforet Kofu.