Brazilian striker Marquinhos netted a hat-trick for Kashima who jumped to second on the table and are now just five points in arrears of Nagoya who needed a second-half Mu Kanasaki goal to grab a 1-1 draw with Yokohama F. Marinos at home.
In other J-League matches, Sanfrecce Hiroshima were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Vissel Kobe, Jubilo Iwata got the points with a 2-1 win over FC Tokyo who dropped into the relegation zone, Kawasaki Frontale were on fire as they disposed of Shonan Bellmare 6-1 away from home thanks to a Juninho treble, Urawa Reds and Shimizu S-Pulse had a 1-1 draw, Gamba Osaka edged Cerezo Osaka 3-2 in the derby, Albirex Niigata drew 1-1 with Kyoto Sanga and a Yong-Gi Ryang double guided Vegalta Sendai to a much-needed 2-0 win over Montedio Yamagata.
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