The last matchday of the Golden Week holiday period was a trying one for the J1’s strugglers, with none of the three last-placed sides finding maximum points.
Matsumoto Yamaga 2-0 Ventforet Kofu
(79′ Kiyama, 90+3′(p) Obina)
Matsumoto Yamaga earned a big home win over last-place Ventforet Kofu to climb up to 12th place in the standings.
The Alwin Stadium residents controlled the pace of the game from the outset and frequently pushed forward to the delight of the home fans, but despite their efforts the majority of the game passed without a goal.
That changed in the 79th minute when Kohei Kiyama capitalised on a loose ball in the penalty area, unleashing a close-range shot with his left foot for the eventual decider.
His goal was followed up by an Obina penalty kick in additional time to give Ventforet their eighth loss of the season, with a league-worst three goals scored and 19 goals allowed.
Albirex Niigata 1-1 Montedio Yamagata
(90+1′ Naruoka / 61′ Hayashi)
A late equaliser gave a point to Albirex Niigata as both clubs fought to try to stay afloat from the bottom of the table.
Montedio goalkeeper Norihiro Yamagishi became an early hero of the game, keeping a clean sheet as Musashi Suzuki fronted multiple attacks on the former Urawa Reds gloveman’s goal.
Montedio put themselves in the lead with the first shot of the second half, with Ryouhei Hayashi firing in Tatsuya Ishikawa’s corner with a well-timed late run into the middle of the penalty area.
Sho Naruoka put the home side back on level terms with the newly-promoted side in the first minute of additional time, as Masaru Kato cut the ball back to the substitute after Ishikawa attempted to clear a cross into his path.
Shimizu S-Pulse 2-2 Sagan Tosu
(11′ 63′(p) Omae / 43′ Toyoda, 70′ Mizunuma)
Sagan Tosu cancelled out a Genki Omae brace as Shimizu could only manage a single point to pry themselves away from joint-bottom of the league table.
Omae opened the scoring just after ten minutes had passed with Peter Utaka sneaking the ball behind the defensive line inside the penalty area and squaring across goal for the Shimizu favourite to slide in and hit the roof of the net.
Yohei Toyoda pulled the margin back before half time, finding himself poorly marked in the centre of the penalty area during Kota Mizunuma’s corner kick. Utaka was left in disbelief as the referee disallowed his goal from Omae’s cross in the 62nd minute, but a penalty had been given after Kim Min-hyeok’s hand had touched the cross on the way to the 30-year-old’s foot.
Omae coolly slotted in the resulting penalty before Mizunuma levelled the scores again for Sagan seven minutes later with a perfectly-taken free kick over the wall and beyond Rikihiro Sugiyama’s reach into the bottom corner from 24 yards out.
Kawasaki Frontale 0-1 Sanfrecce Hiroshima
An early goal from Douglas was all Sanfrecce Hiroshima needed for their fifth straight win of the season.
The 2012 and 2013 champions took the lead just three minutes into the match at Todoroki Stadium when the Brazilian took advantage of Frontale’s poor defending, rounding first-time goalkeeper Shota Arai before calmly putting the ball into the back of the net.
Sanfrecce spent much of the remaining 87 minutes defending, but an inspired performance from goalkeeper Takuto Hayashi and his back line preserved the clean sheet and brought the Purple Archers up to a provisional third place.
Yokohama F. Marinos 2-0 Nagoya Grampus
(10′ Ademilson, 51′ Nakamachi)
Yokohama F. Marinos stopped their losing streak at two matches against a 10-man Nagoya Grampus side at Nissan Stadium.
The hosts needed just 10 minutes to take the lead when Manabu Saito’s well-placed cross was met by a practically unmarked Ademilson, who buried the ball into the back of the net with his first touch.
The Brazilian found himself frequently marked by Grampus defenders, and one particularly rough foul saw midfielder Teruki Tanaka receive his second caution of the match and an early trip to the locker room.
Marinos capitalised on the man advantage early in the second half; after Grampus goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki failed to control Yuzo Kobayashi’s low cross, it was Kosuke Nakamachi who came up to stuff in the second goal of the match.
The result sees the two sides lined up in the middle of the J1 League table with 14 points each, though both trail Kawasaki Frontale on goal difference.
Shonan Bellmare 1-1 Vissel Kobe
(45+5′(p) Endo / 33′ Marquinhos)
A brilliant Marquinhos strike was neutralised by Wataru Endo’s penalty kick as the two mid-table sides ended the BMW Stadium encounter at honours even.
The Brazilian striker was a constant threat for Vissel in the first half, and demonstrated his capabilities in the 33rd minute with a right-footed blast from well outside the penalty area that Bellmare goalkeeper Yota Akimoto had little chance of reaching.
But a foul late in the half by Ryo Okui gave Bellmare a chance to equalise, and Endo’s penalty kick was true to send the two sides into the interval knotted up at 1-1.
A foul-heavy second half produced several opportunities for a potential game-winner, but no more goals were to be found as the two sides settled for a point each.
Vegalta Sendai 2-3 FC Tokyo
(88′ Ishikawa, 90′ Lopes / 34′ Morishige, 48′(p) 52′ Muto)
Sendai’s missed penalty helped drive FC Tokyo towards what appeared would be a convincing win before a late surge from the Iwate-based club almost saw both sides share the spoils.
The home fans may have thought fortune was shining upon them in the 26th minute, with Wilson getting pulled back by Kazunori Yoshimoto for a penalty, but the Brazilian failed to put it past the gloves of Shuichi Gonda.
It allowed FC Tokyo to open the scoring and they managed to do so in the 34th minute, with Masato Morishige striking the ball into the net from Kosuke Ota’s curling free kick to the far post. They doubled just after half time, when Hiroshi Futami was adjudged to have brought down Takuji Yonemoto, allowing Yoshinori Muto to convert.
Muto got his second goal just four minutes later, swinging to strike Ota’s cross past the outstretched glove of Yuji Rokutan. It was the last of FC Tokyo’s goals for the night, but not the last goals of the match. A low half-volley by Naoki Ishikawa from Atsuto Tatara and a volley from Ramon Lopes after a Gonda save added late drama to the match, but weren’t enough for Sendai to salvage anything more than pride.
The final two matches of Round 10, Kashiwa Reysol vs. Urawa Reds and Gamba Osaka vs. Kashima Antlers, will take place on June 3 due to those teams’ participation in the AFC Champions League.