SHIZUOKA, Japan (AP) — Kosuke Yamamoto scored in the second half on Saturday as Jubilo Iwata earned a 1-1 draw with Vegalta, denying Sendai a chance to take over the J-League lead.
Shingo Akamine gave Vegalta a 1-0 lead in the 77th minute but Yamamoto equalized seven minutes later when he got behind a Sendai defender to convert a pass from Hiroki Yamada.
Sendai and Sanfrecce Hiroshima both have 55 points with four matches remaining but Vegalta trails on goal difference. Hiroshima was held to a 1-1 draw away to Gamba Osaka.
Elsewhere, third place Urawa Reds improved to 49 points after a goalless draw with Cerezo Osaka while Slovenian Zlatan Ljubijankic scored a hat trick to lead relegation-threatened Omiya Ardija to a 4-1 thrashing of defending champion Kashiwa Reysol.
Genki Omae scored in the final minute as Shimizu S-Pulse moved into fourth place on 48 points with a 2-1 win over Kashima Antlers. Yohei Toyoda scored twice to lead Sagan Tosu to a 2-0 win over Albirex Niigata.
Nagoya Grampus and Yokohama F Marinos finished 1-1 while FC Tokyo hammered relegated Consadole Sapporo 5-0.