TOKYO (AP) Mu Kanazaki scored the only goal as Kashima Antlers beat Ventforet Kofu 1-0 Saturday to keep the pressure on J-League leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Kanazaki's header in the 61st minute allowed the seven-time league champions to improve to 25 points in the second-stage standings.
Hiroshima, held to a goalless draw with Sagan Tosu, also has 25 points but is ahead of Kashima on goal difference.
Also, Shinzo Koroki, Yuki Muto and Yosuke Kashiwagi all scored in the second half to lead Urawa Reds to a 4-1 win over Shimizu S-Pulse. First-stage winners Urawa has 20 points.
Veteran Yoshito Okubo scored a hat trick to power Kawasaki Frontale to a 6-1 thrashing of Nagoya Grampus while Cayman Togashi scored as Yokohama F Marinos edged FC Tokyo 1-0.
Kosuke Yamamoto scored in the 85th as Albirex Niigata beat Vissel Kobe 2-1 and a second-half equalizer from Yoshito Fujita gave Shonan Bellmare a 1-1 draw with Vegalta Sendai.
Last season's treble winners Gamba Osaka face Matsumoto Yamaga and Kashiwa Reysol host bottom club Montedio Yamagata in Sunday's games.