Referee Masayoshi Okada took centre stage at Kashima Stadium as he called a halt to the top-of-table clash between Kashima Antlers and Kawasaki Frontale.

 

With Kawasaki leading 3-1, they were left furious when the match was abandoned after 73 minutes as monsoonal rains swept across the ground.

 

Had the result stood, Kawasaki would have cut Kashima’s lead at the top to just four points.

 

Instead the full ninety minutes will be replayed at a date yet unknown.

 

Chong Tese had given Kawasaki the lead with a fabulous strike on twenty minutes, with the North Korean international’s thumping strike crashing in off the underside of the crossbar.

 

Kashima pulled a goal back through Marquinhos, but Chong Tese was again on hand to head the visitors back into the lead before the half-time break.

 

As the rain pounded the 2002 FIFA World Cup venue in the second half, veteran Kawasaki striker Juninho stunned Kashima goalkeeper Hitoshi Sogahata with a shot that skidded in at the near post.

 

Just when Kawasaki thought they had made inroads on runaway league leaders Kashima, referee Okada stepped in to abandon play courtesy of a waterlogged pitch.

 

There were angry scenes at the end as furious Kawasaki players berated match officials for their decision to call time on the clash.

 

Elsewhere JEF United inched Agen Togel closer towards relegation when they lost 1-0 to Albirex Niigata at Fukuda Denshi Arena in Chiba, while local rivals Kashiwa Reysol kept alive their chances of escaping the drop as they beat Nagoya Grampus 3-2 on the road.

 

Yosuke Kashiwagi scored twice as Sanfrecce Hiroshima defeated Yokohama F. Marinos 3-2 at Big Arch Stadium, while a small crowd turned out at Kamoike Stadium in neutral Kagoshima to …