TOKYO — J-League leader Urawa Reds and FC Tokyo shared the points in an entertaining 4-4 draw, while Gamba Osaka scored a late equalizer at Ventforet Kofu to finish 3-3 in a high-scoring round on Saturday.
Yoshinori Muto grabbed two for the home team while Reds had four different players on target, including Tadanari Lee coming off the bench to strike home in the 80th minute.
Tsukasa Umesaki, Shinzo Koroki and Tadaaki Hirakawa also scored for the Reds.
Ten-man Kawasaki Frontale — second before kickoff — lost at Yokohama F Marinos 2-0 and dropped to fourth place.
Three points now separate the top four teams. Reds lead with 41 points, a single point ahead of Sagan Tosu, which reclaimed second place with a 3-1 away win at relegation-threatened Omiya Ardija.
Kashima Antlers are a further point behind in third place, on 39, after their come-from-behind win at Shimizu S-Pulse. Mitsuo Ogasawara scored two goals within six minutes just after the hour mark to give a 3-1 win to the Kashima team.
Kawasaki lost Kyohei Noborizato to a second yellow card before the interval. The goals for Yokohama came from an early penalty kick — taken by Rafinha — and a 67th minute piece of opportunism from Shingo Hyodo.
Gamba Osaka's Shu Kurata rescued a point with a goal deep into additional time to make the final score 3-3 at Ventforet Kofu, which had scored in the 87th and 88th to go ahead.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima was held to a 0-0 draw by struggling Cerezo Osaka, which gave new signing Cacau his debut alongside Uruguay striker Diego Forlan. The star forward line failed to find the net, however, and Cerezo stay third from bottom on 20 points.
Elsewhere, Vissel Kobe hosted Vegalta Sendai in a mid-table clash that saw the home team come from behind to grab all three points in a 2-1 win, while Nagoya Grampus drew 1-1 at home to Kashiwa Reysol.
Tokushima Vortis shocked Albirex Niigata with a 2-1 away win — with both their goals coming from Hiroyuki Takasaki — but remain anchored to last place on just 12 points.