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Urawa Reds stay top in J-League with 4-0 demolition of Omiya Ardija

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TOKYO — Urawa Reds cemented its top spot in the J-League with a 4-0 demolition of relegation-threatened Omiya Ardija on Saturday, while Gamba Osaka thrashed Albirex Niigata 5-0.

Tsukasa Umesaki, Shinzo Koroki, Ryota Moriwaki and Tomoya Ugajin scored for the Reds.

Gamba's goals came from Takaharu Nishino, Takahiro Futagawa, Lins and a brace from Shu Kurata. Gamba finished the day in seventh spot.

Sagan Tosu scored a very late equalizer through substitute Ryota Hayasaka in the 93rd minute for a 2-2 draw with Shimizu S-Pulse and held on to second.

Third-placed Kashima Antlers and fourth-placed Kawasaki Frontale saw no change in their positions after Antlers were held 2-2 at home to FC Tokyo and Frontale drew away at Nagoya 1-1.

Leading against Tokyo with 20 minutes left, Antlers lost Takeshi Aoki to a straight red for a rash tackle on Edu, and squandered two points as Yoshinori Muto equalized for the visitors with three minutes to go. Muto was celebrating his first callup to the national team in new Japan coach Javier Aguirre's first squad announced Thursday.

In Nagoya, Frontale opened the scoring in the first minute through Shogo Taniguchi but was pegged back by Kengo Kawamata's first J-League goal for Nagoya.

Vissel Kobe moved into fifth with a 2-1 win at Cerezo Osaka. Vissel's goals came from ex-Cerezo player Simplicio and another new Japan national team callup, Ryota Morioka, whose winner came in the 92nd. Cerezo remained deep in trouble, third from bottom on 20 points.

Elsewhere, two-time defending champion Sanfrecce Hiroshima made hard work of its 1-0 win at bottom-placed Tokushima Vortis, the only goal coming from Yusuke Minagawa — also in the national squad — through a penalty kick after 32 minutes.

In other matches, Kashiwa Reysol beat Ventforet Kofu 3-0, while Yokohama F. Marinos defeated Vegalta Sendai 2-1 with left back Takumi Shimohira scoring in the 93rd.

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