Yokohama beats Shimizu to keep lead in J-League
YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) - Shunsuke Nakamura scored the only goal on Saturday as Yokohama F Marinos beat Shimizu S-Pulse 1-0 to maintain its lead in the J-League standings.
Nakamura scored his ninth goal of the season, slotting the ball into the bottom right corner in the fourth minute as Yokohama improved to 51 points, four head of defending champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima, which beat Albirex Niigata 2-0.
With eight matches left, Yokohama is seeking its first league title since 2004.
Shimizu came close to equalizing in the 29th minute when Dzenan Radoncic's free kick from 25 meters hit the crossbar. The visitors had another chance in the 85th minute when Kota Sugiyama hit the post.
Third-place Urawa Reds were held to a 1-1 draw by Ventforet Kofu, which earned a point after 96 minutes of play thanks to Naoaki Aoyama's equalizer.
Fourth-place Kashima Antlers defeated relegation-threatened Jubilo Iwata 3-2 while Vegalta Sendai beat Omiya 2-0, handing Ardija its 10th loss in 11 games.
Sagan Tosu edged Kawasaki Frontale 1-0, FC Tokyo defeated Nagoya Grampus 2-0 and Shonan Bellmare beat last-place Oita Trinita 2-1.