An 89th-minute penalty from Brazilian striker Wilson Rodrigues Fonseca handed Vegalta Sendai a hard-fought 1-0 win over lowly Albirex Niigata.

The win helped Makoto Teguramori's team six points clear at the top, with Sanfrecce Hiroshima moving into second with a 4-1 thrashing of Kawasaki Frontale.

A second-half brace from Hisato Sato saw the visitors to the strong win after they led 2-1 at half-time.

Hiroki Ito had cancelled out Satoru Yamagishi's 15th-minute opener, before Naoki Ishihara restored Sanfrecce's advantage.

Gamba Osaka's woes continued, remaining in the relegation zone after suffering a 5-0 loss at Kashima Antlers.

Yasushi Endo netted in the first half before Yuya Osako struck a brace to go with goals from Shinzo Koroki and Masashi Motoyama after the interval.

Shimizu S-Pulse returned to winning ways as Toshiyuki Takagi's 77th-minute goal gave them a 1-0 victory at Tokyo.

A brace from Marcio Richardes guided Urawa Reds to a 2-1 win at Nagoya Grampus, while Kashiwa Reysol and Sagan Tosu played out a 1-1 draw.

Struggling Consadole Sapporo remain winless at the bottom after a 2-1 loss to Omiya Ardija, Cerezo Osaka held on for a 3-2 win at home to Jubilo Iwata and Yokohama F Marinos overcame Vissel Kobe 3-1.