Sanfrecce Hiroshima thrashes Shonan Bellmare to secure J-League's 2nd stage title

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HIROSHIMA, Japan — Hisato Sato scored a record-tying goal and Douglas netted a hat trick as Sanfrecce Hiroshima thrashed Shonan Bellmare 5-0 on Sunday to clinch the J-League's second stage title in the final game of the regular season.

Sato scored his 157th goal, matching the all-time league record held by former Japan striker Masashi Nakayama.

Sanfrecce finished the second stage with 40 points, three ahead of Kashima Antlers which beat Nagoya Grampus 1-0.

First-stage winners Urawa Reds beat Vissel Kobe 5-2.

Defending champion Gamba Osaka beat Montedio Yamagata 4-0 to claim the final spot in the championship final.

Urawa will host Gamba on Saturday in the first round of the playoffs. The winners will face Hiroshima in a two-leg final on Dec. 2 and 5.

Also, Veteran Yoshito Okubo scored as Kawasaki Frontale edged Vegalta Sendai 1-0.

Okubo finished as the league's top scorer with 23 goals for an unprecedented third successive season.

Yokohama F Marinos finished in a goalless draw with Matsumoto Yamaga whike Ventforet drew 2-2 with Shimizu S-Pulse. Kashiwa Reysol drew 1-1 at home to Albirex Niigata.

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