Soccer: Sagan, Antlers finish see-sawing battle in 4-4 deadlock

© Kyodo News

Sagan Tosu foiled an improbable comeback win by Kashima Antlers on Wednesday after Masaya Tashiro's last-gasp header left their J-League first-division clash deadlocked 4-4.

A 94th-minute goal from late substitute Itsuki Someno appeared to seal victory for Rene Weiler's Antlers, who scored twice in injury time after trailing 3-0 early in the second half at Kashima Stadium.

But Tashiro spoiled the party with the final touch of the game three minutes later, netting his brace from point blank after Antlers keeper Kwoun Sun Tae parried a corner kick.

The solitary point was nevertheless enough to take Antlers to the top of the table on goal difference after reigning champions Kawasaki Frontale were stunned 4-0 by lowly Shonan Bellmare.

Tashiro opened the scoring for Tosu from a corner in the 31st minute, angling his header across a diving Kwoun. Taisei Miyashiro doubled the lead seven minutes later, tapping in after Kwoun blocked his initial close-range attempt.

Kei Koizumi struck Tosu's third from a counterattack early in the second half, firing home from the edge of the area after Antlers gave away possession near halfway.

Yuta Higuchi scored Kashima's first soon after, and with the momentum shifting to the hosts, Ayase Ueda netted his league-leading ninth goal in the 68th minute after Yuma Suzuki shook off a defender and cut back to his strike partner.

Suzuki also set up Shoma Doi's 92nd-minute equalizer, finding him across the area with a header shortly before Someno nodded in from Arthur Caike's ball into the box to give the hosts a short-lived 4-3 lead.

At Kawasaki's Todoroki Stadium, Shuto Machino struck a brace as 17th-place Bellmare netted four times within a 12-minute span in the second half to knock Frontale off the top of the table.

Yokohama F Marinos maintained their grip on third place with a 2-0 win over visiting Kyoto Sanga following goals from Ryuta Koike and Ken Matsubara.

The scheduled clash between Gamba Osaka and Sanfrecce Hiroshima at Panasonic Stadium was postponed after several Hiroshima players and staff tested positive for COVID-19.