J2 was awash with goals last weekend.
Leaders Vissel Kobe were in the thick of things as they won 4-2 at Ehime FC. Vissel opened the scoring through Iwanami’s 20 yarder and Ehime had keeper Yota Akimoto for keeping the score down as he produced fine saves from Lee & Popo. Kobe doubled their lead on the hour when Koki Arita, scorer of 14 goals on load at Ehime last year, latched on to a Tashiro knock down to hammer past Akimoto. Ehime pulled a goal back in the 71st minute through Keiji Yoshimura, but Vissel went immediately up the other end and Arita showed good feet on the edge of the box before placing his shot expertly past the keeper. Mazinho made it four before a late consolation from Matsumoto. Job done for the leaders.
Gamba Osaka stayed hot on their tail after overcoming an early fright to run out 5-1 winners against relegation battlers Thespa Kusatsu Gunma. Gamba took an early lead via a goal from Paulinho but Gunma shocked the home side when they equalized through Ryuichi Hirashige. Sho Kurata restored Gamba’s lead on 26 minutes before Leandro added third from Kaji’s cross. Paulinho grabbed his second of the game on the hour and Kurata rounded off the scoring just minutes later.
V-Varen Nagasaki succumbed to a 1-0 home loss against the wonderfully unpredictable Kyoto Sanga in Nagasaki. An own goal from Takahiro Yamaguchi was enough to consign Nagasaki to their first defeat in eleven games.
JEF United inflicted Matsumoto Yamaga‘s first away defeat of the season as they won 1-0 at the Fukuari. It looked like it was going to be a stalemate until a great bit of skill from Jair on the right led to him crossing for Yazawa to head in.
Montedio Yamagata went goal crazy as they thumped hapless Gainare Tottori 6-0 in dreadful conditions at the Torigin Stadium. Four of Monte’s goals came from corners with Hayashi & Nishikawa helping themselves to braces.
Play-off hopefuls Fagiano Okayama beat Tokushima Vortis 2-0 at Kanko Stadium thanks to two second half goals, while fellow play-off chasers Tochigi SC also won as they impressively beat Roasso Kumamoto 4-1 away from home.
Mito Hollyhock easily saw off FC Gifu 4-1 at K’s Denki Stadium. Yuto Suzuki set them on their way with 25 yard beauty into the top corner while Consadole Sapporo and Tokyo Verdy drew 1-1 at Atsubetsu in difficult conditions. Naohiro Takahara hit the bar for Verdy before Okamoto put the hosts in front. Satoshi Tokiwa equalized for the visitors from close range.
Avispa Fukuoka claimed a well earned 2-1 away win against Kataller Toyama thanks to goals from Daisuke Ishizu and a wonderful free-kick from Yuji Funayama. Finally, Giravanz Kitakyushu and Yokohama FC shared the spoils in their game at Honjo. Yokohama took the lead when Tetsuya Okubo headed in but Giravanz leveled when Fuji curled a free-kick over the wall and into the net.