TOKYO (AP) — Shoma Doi and substitute Yuma Suzuki scored as J-League leader Kashima Antlers beat Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-0 Saturday.
Doi put the hosts ahead in the 29th minute when he beat Sanfrecce ‘keeper Hirotsugu Nakabayashi with a left-foot shot from 18 meters (yards).
Suzuki sealed the win with six minutes left.
Kashima is five points clear of Kawasaki Frontale with five games remaining.
Ten-man Frontale came back from 2-0 down with eight minutes left to beat Vegalta Sendai 3-2 at home, thanks to two goals from captain Yu Kobayashi.
Third-place Kashiwa Reysol, on 53 points, saw its slim title hopes all but dashed after a 3-0 defeat at Consadole Sapporo.
Fourth-place Yokohama F Marinos needed an equalizer from Kosuke Nakamachi to earn a 1-1 draw with Omiya Ardija.