TOKYO — Mu Kanazaki scored twice in the second half on Wednesday as defending champion Kashima Antlers beat Vissel Kobe 2-1 to move top of the J-League.

Hirofumi Watanabe gave Kobe a 1-0 lead four minutes after the break but Kanazaki equalized 10 minutes later and scored what was to prove the winner with four minutes left.

Kashima improved to 46 points, two ahead of Cerezo Osaka which squandered a two-goal lead in a 3-2 loss to Shimizu S-Pulse.

In other matches, third-placed Yokohama F Marinos improved to 40 points with a 2-0 win over Consadole Sapporo while Kawasaki Frontale is a point further back after beating Albirex Niigata 2-0.

Elsewhere, Urawa Reds edged Ventforet Kofu 1-0 and FC Tokyo beat Omiya Ardija 2-1.

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