Forward Shingo Akamine scored for Vegalta Sendai in the 19th minute as Sendai held off an aggressive Vissel Kobe in the second half to win 1-0 and stay on top of the J-League rankings on Saturday.

The win put Vegalta at 35 points, two ahead of Sanfrecce Hiroshima, which won 2-0 against Jubilo Iwata. Hiroshima midfielder Koji Nakajima scored 31 minutes into in the second half, and Koji Morizaki added the second just before the whistle.

In other games, FC Tokyo outscored Gamba Osaka 3-2, Albirex Niigata beat Consadole Sapporo 1-0, Nagoya Grampus won 2-1 against Kashiwa Reysol, and the Kashima Antlers beat Omiya Ardija 1-0. Yokohama F Marinos and Cerezo Osaka played to a 1-1 draw, while Shimizu S-Pulse and Kawasaka Frontale ended their match at 0-0.