Sagan Tosu beat Kashiwa Reysol 1-0 to move into first place in the J-league for the first time on Tuesday.
Ryota Hayasaka put the host on the scoresheet just four minutes in with a right-footed shot from close range, and Tosu held on to improve to one point ahead of Urawa Reds, who were held to 0-0 by Ventforet Kofu.
Tosu joined the top flight in 2012 and has never finished higher than fifth place.
In other matches, Yuki Muto scored the winner in the 76th as Vegalta Sendai edged Vissel Kobe 4-3, while third-place Kashima Antlers were beaten 2-1 at home by Nagoya Grampus. Keiji Tamada and Yoshizumi Ogawa scored for Nagoya, which handed Kashima its third straight loss.
Omiya Ardija beat FC Tokyo 1-0. Albirex Niigata defeated Shimizu S-Pulse 2-1 courtesy of an own goal five minutes into stoppage time.
Yasuhiro Hiraoka equalized for Shimizu in the second minute of stoppage time but Calvin Jong-a-Pin’s clearance attempt went into his own net three minutes later.
Hiroyuki Abe and Shu Kurata scored second-half goals to lead Gamba Osaka to a 3-0 win over last-place Tokushima Vortis, which has just one win in 12 matches.