Kashima Antlers win J-League title for the eighth time

SAITAMA, Japan -- Kashima Antlers earned their eighth J-League title by beating Urawa Reds 2-1 in the second leg of the final on Saturday.

Antlers lost the first leg 1-0 on Tuesday but clinched the title on away goals after the final finished 2-2 on aggregate.

Former Antlers striker Shinzo Koroki put Urawa ahead with a right-footed volley in the seventh minute, and Mu Kanezaki equalized with a header for the visitors five minutes before the break.

Kanezaki sealed the win with 11 minutes remaining when he scored from the penalty spot after Urawa defender Tomoaki Makino took down substitute Yuma Suzuki.

In the regular season, Kashima were third, 15 points behind Urawa. Kashima earned a spot in the final with a 1-0 win at second-place Kawasaki Frontale in the semifinal playoff on Nov. 23.

The J-League title also secured Kashima a place in the Club World Cup in Japan, where they will play Auckland City in a playoff next Thursday.