Yamazaki strike boosts Yamagata

Montedio Yamagata boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation with only their fifth win of the season as Masato Yamazaki's early goal earned a 1-0 win over Urawa Reds.

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Yamazaki struck the winner after just two minutes at Saitama Stadium, although the visitors remained second from bottom and eight points from safety with nine games to go.

Ventforet Kofu stayed in the third relegation spot after a 2-1 defeat at home to Vegalta Sendai.

Yoshiaki Ota opened the scoring 10 minutes into the second period and Shingo Akamine added a second in the 79th minute. Mike Havenaar pulled a goal back for Ventforet but it was not enough.

Vissel Kobe won 3-0 at Kawasaki Frontale thanks to goals from Takayuki Toshida, Park Kang-jo and Yoshito Okubo.

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