For the second time in the last month, Kawasaki Frontale’s lead atop the MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE table was cut to one point as Yokohama F·Marinos breathed down the necks of the defending champions. And for the second time, Frontale responded with a victory, while Marinos lost, to stretch their title lead back to four points.
Frontale rested a slew of first choice players after returning from the Republic of Korea, where they played in the AFC Champions League midweek. That gave some other players opportunities, and Kei Chinen and Marcinho, in particular, took advantage.
Chinen got Frontale going, with some help from Marinho as the Brazilian drove to the net and was taken down to earn a penalty kick that Chinen buried. After Vortis equalized through a terrific Kazunari Ichimi goal, Marcinho played the role of creator once more. This time he had the pass to set up Yasuto Wakizaka, whose pinpoint finish put Frontale back in front. Finally, Chinen was first to a corner kick and nodded home the final goal in a 3-1 win for the defending champions.
While Chinen and Marcinho were delivering Frontale a victory, Marinos were being bested by Nagoya Grampus, 2-1. Frontale now hold a four point lead for first and they have a match in hand, strengthening their bid for their fourth league title in five years.