The matches in the J. League are increasingly becoming ever so important for teams in the top half of the league standing as the J1 season end approaches.
With eight rounds to go before the season ends, good form and consistency will decide who will be among the teams to continue their quest for the J. League title approaching the final rounds.
After round 26 the leaders of the pack which include Sanfresse Hiroshima, Vegalta Sendai and Urawa Reds, have all strengthened their position on title ambition by coming away with victories in round 26 except for Urawa Reds who went down to now 16th place Gamba Osaka on the day.
Odds to win this game was overwhelmingly in favor of the Reds but as it proved, teams fighting for survival won’t just surrender three points on the day without putting up a fight and this was evident between the Reds and Gamba who “surprisingly” didn’t just put up a fight but totally outplayed their title chasing opponent to win 0-5.
The lost meant that the Reds have missed-out an a real chance to go level on points with Vegalta Sendai who sits in 2nd place with 48th points, two less than leader Sanfresse Hiroshima setting in 1st place on 50 points.
Sanfresse who leads the table coming into round 26 were away to Nagaya Grampus and fresh from their round 25 win over closest challenger Vegalta Sendai were keen on extending the gap between the two but had to come from behind with a late goal from Ryota Moriwaki in third minute of stoppage time to remain at the J league top.
Vegalta Sendai who welcome visiting team Vissel Kobe were hoping to bounce back from a lost to Sanfresse last weekend to keep afloat title aspiration, got off to a rocky start going down 0-1 early inside 19 minutes to the visitors.
The home team manage to find their way back on level term and went on to rescued the three points late with a goal from Jiro Kamata in the 90th minute to win by a similar score line of 2-1 to that of the leaders result over Nagaya and was fortunate to bag all three points.
Here is what the table look like after 26 rounds of matches.
League table via J. League
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