HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) — Hisato Sato scored a hat trick on Saturday as defending champion Sanfrecce Hiroshima thrashed Ventforet Kofu 5-1 in the J-League.
Jose Ortigoza scored in the fourth minute for Ventforet, but Sato equalized less than a minute later and Hiroki Mizumoto put the hosts ahead in the final minute of the first half.
Sato, last season's leading scorer, extended the lead through a penalty in the 75th minute and made it 4-1 with his ninth goal of the season six minutes later. Gakuto Notsuda completed the rout in the 86th as Hiroshima moved to with nine points of leader Omiya Ardija, which beat Shonan Bellmare 2-1 through Daigo Watanabe's late winner.
In other matches, Yasushi Endo, Atsutaka Nakamura and Yuya Osako found the net as Kashima Antlers beat Nagoya Grampus 3-1. Yoshizumi Ogawa scored for Grampus, which has lost five of its past six matches and has just 12 points from 12 matches.
Second-place Yokohama F Marinos trails Omiya by five points after a scoreless draw with Vegalta Sendai, while Urawa Reds are another point back in third after beating Sagan Tosu 6-2. Oita Trinita beat Albirex Niigata 3-2 for its first win of the season.
Kawasaki Frontale beat Jubilo Iwata 4-2, while Cerezo Osaka came from behind to beat Kashiwa Reysol 3-1 with Yoichiro Kakitani scoring twice. FC Tokyo defeated Shimizu S-Pulse 2-0.