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Kansai clubs lay claim to top spots

Gamba Osaka continued to blaze a trail at the top of J2 this weekend, with a 1-0 win away at relegation-threatened Giravanz Kitakyushu.

The win put Gamba 2 points clear of Vissel Kobe, who could only draw at home to promotion-chasing JEF United.

As well as Gamba, Kyoto Sanga also benefitted from Vissel's slip-up. The highly-rated Yuya Kubo bagged a hat-trick as the famous purple shirts notched a 3-1 away victory at Roasso Kumamoto.

However, Sanga are still 6 points adrift of Kobe, so an automatic-promotion berth already looks unlikely. When you factor in Kyoto's inconsistency, then it seems even more of a long-shot. On their day, Sanga can beat anyone in J2, as they proved by beating Vissel 4-1 back in March. Yet, if they sell top scorer Kubo this summer, even the play-offs could be a distant dream.

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