Kashima Antlers beats Montedio Yamagata 3-0

KASHIMA, Japan (AP) Kashima Antlers maintained control of the J-League second stage table on Saturday, comfortably overcoming last-placed Montedio Yamagata 3-0.

Mu Kanazaki gave hosts Kashima the lead in the 40th minute, before Caio and Yasushi Endo added goals in the second half to improve the Ibaraki side to 19 points.

That win made it five-from-five for coach Masatada Ishii since he took over from former Brazil international Toninho Cerezo last month, and left Antlers a point clear of Sanfrecce Hiroshima at the top.

Sanfrecce made sure it stayed within touching distance with a first win in three games, downing Albirex Niigata 2-0 with goals from Tsukasa Shiotani and Kazuyuki Morisaki.

Kashiwa Reysol sits third, behind Hiroshima on goal difference, after beating Matsumoto Yamaga 2-0 Thursday.