Omiya Ardija participated in an action-packed game at Fukuari against a struggling JEF United and deservedly took all three points back to Saitama after nearly throwing it away. Yasuhiro Higuchi kept the same starting line-up as had beaten Oita Trinita and the Squirrels attacked from the off. A couple of long-range efforts from right back Yusuke Murayama and dangerous forward Denis Marques stung the fingers of Chiba keeper Tomonori Tateishi before Omiya took the lead through Denis.
After having helped out Masato Saito with assists against Oita, on this occasion the Brazilian dribbled his way past a couple of home defenders before rifling in a right-foot shot from the edge of the box. A minute later it should have been two, when Daigo Kobayashi was put clean through by Tomoya Uchida but Ardija's star midfield man could only drag his left foot shot wide of the left-hand post.
Yosuke Kataoka celebrates his winning goal
But an aggressive and attacking Omiya weren't to be denied and they doubled their lead in 31st minute with some sublime skill by Denis Marques. He tormented the JEF defence with his tricks, beating several defenders before unleashing an unstoppable right foot shot beyond the reach of the Chiba goalkeeper. 2-0 up and with barely half an hour gone, the Squirrels almost extended their lead as Uchida had a right-foot shot tipped around the post and Kota Yoshihara also coming close. At the other end Koji Ezumi made a brilliant one-handed save from the impressive Kota Aoki, but overall Higuchi's team were well worth their half-time lead.
The second period was much more pedestrian - at least until Chiba scored. Masataka Sakamoto scrambled the ball in on 73 minutes and when they equalised through substitute forward Tatsunori Arai's superbly opportunistic overhead four minutes from time, Ardija looked on the ropes. But two minutes later up stepped midielder Yosuke Kataoka with a brilliant long-range effort that Tateishi could only palm into the net, leading to wild celebrations in the away end. Pedro Junior, who a matter of moments before had come off the bench in place of Denis, at the death restored the Squirrels' two-goal advantage by coolly dribbling around a defender and the goalkeeper before lashing in a fourth.