TOKYO (AP) Kashima Antlers missed a chance to secure their record ninth J-League title on Sunday after being held to a 0-0 draw at home against Kashiwa Reysol.
A win for Antlers would have secured the title with one game remaining.
Kashima are five points clear of second-placed Kawasaki Frontale, which must beat newly crowned Asian club champions Urawa Reds away on Wednesday to keep their own title hopes alive.
Elsewhere, Omiya Ardija was relegated and join last place Albirex Niigata in the second tier next season after a 0-0 draw at home to Ventforet Kofu.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima escaped relegation after a 2-1 win at home to FC Tokyo.
Also, Vegalta Sendai and Yokohama F Marinos finished 2-2, Consadole Sapporo edged Gamba Osaka 1-0, and Cerezo Osaka beat Viseel Kobe 3-1.