22.11.2015 16:28 h

Hiroshima finish in style as Gamba lurk

Two-time Japanese champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima rounded out the J-League second stage in style by smashing five unanswered goals past Shonan Bellmare on Sunday.

Hiroshima secured top spot and also finished in first place in the overall standings to advance to the J-League championship final.

Urawa Reds thrashed Vissel Kobe 5-2 to finish on 72 points over the two stages, two points behind Hiroshima.

The Reds, Japan's best-supported club, will host last season's treble winners Gamba Osaka this weekend in the first leg of the semi-finals after a late twist in the final round of games.

Hiroshima await the winners in a two-legged final on December 2 and 5.

Gamba crushed relegated Montedio Yamagata 4-0 to scrape into the playoffs after FC Tokyo failed to beat Sagan Tosu at home.

Reds manager Mihailo Petrovic insisted his team would have no fear despite having to play their nemesis Gamba, who broke Urawa's hearts in last year's title run-in.

"All three teams are good," said the Serbian. "I respect Gamba, they are a great team. The odds of Tokyo dropping points against Sagan were very small. I don't fear Gamba but they seem to be lucky."

In other games, Kashima Antlers beat Nagoya Grampus 1-0 at home to finish as second-stage runners-up and fifth overall while Kawasaki Frontale edged Vegalta Sendai by the same score thanks to a late goal by Yoshito Okubo.

The former Japan striker finished as the J-League's top scorer for a record third successive season and improved his career total to 156, one behind Hiroshima's Hisato Sato, who also got on the scoresheet on Sunday.