Soccer: Defending league champs Frontale regain J-League lead

Two-time defending J-League champions Kawasaki Frontale put four goals past Sagan Tosu on Wednesday, winning their fourth straight and reclaiming the first-division lead for the first time in three months.

Frontale seized the initiative in the 26th minute at their Todoroki Stadium home ground, Kei Chinen heading in a cross from Akihiro Ienaga.

Joao Schmidt made it 2-0 two minutes after the break, scoring from a corner kick. In the 56th minute, Frontale cleared a Sagan free kick, and Marcinho scored on a quick counter, chipping keeper Park Il Gyu from 40 meters out.

Ryota Oshima completed the rout with his first goal of the season in the 87th minute.

"Our players showed great resolve on both attack and defense," manager Toru Oniki said of his team's clean sheet, Frontale's first in five games.

The victory moved Frontale onto 49 points, one ahead of Yokohama F Marinos, who have a game in hand.

At the other end of the table, Gamba Osaka moved out of the relegation zone with their second straight win, 1-0 Avispa Fukuoka on Patric's 94th-minute winner.

© Kyodo News