06.05.2014 14:36 h

Football: Hayasaka puts Sagan Tosu top of J-League

Duell in Tokyo
Duell in Tokyo

Ryota Hayasaka scored after five minutes to send surprise package Sagan Tosu to the top of the J-League with a 1-0 win over Kashiwa Reysol on Tuesday.

Hayasaka's strike meant that Sagan, who reached the top flight for the first time in their history three years ago, jumped one point ahead of previous leaders Urawa Red Diamonds, who were held to a 0-0 draw against Ventforet Kofu.

"When the games come thick and fast like this, it's not about technique so much as concentration and stamina," said Sagan manager Yoon Jong-Hwan, who has seen his team win three of four games in the space of 11 days during the Japanese Golden Week holiday.

"So I have to thank my players for keeping going right until the end without letting anything slip."

Urawa's scoreless draw with Ventforet was the last-ever J-League game to be held at Tokyo's National Stadium before it is demolished and rebuilt to host the 2020 Olympics.

The J-League staged its inaugural game at the venue in May 1993.

Kashima Antlers fell three points behind Sagan after losing 2-1 to Nagoya Grampus.

Albirex Niigata beat Shimizu S-Pulse 2-1 thanks to a 95th minute own goal to move level on points with Antlers and with defending champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima, who play Western Sydney Wanderers in the first leg of their AFC Champions League last 16 tie on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in the J-League, struggling Vegalta Sendai beat Vissel Kobe 4-3 to pick up their second straight win, while Yu Hasegawa struck in the third minute of injury time to give Omiya Ardija a 1-0 victory over FC Tokyo.

In the day's other game, Gamba Osaka beat Tokushima Vortis 3-0. Japan's other Champions League representatives, Cerezo Osaka, Kawasaki Frontale and already eliminated Yokohama F Marinos, did not play.