After the visitors battled back from 4-1 at half-time to 4-3, Yu Kobayashi struck the decisive goal to ensure victory for the hosts in the pouring rainFans who braved the rainy weather at Todoroki Stadium on Saturday bore witness to the highest-scoring game of the J-League season as Kawasaki Frontale held on for a 5-4 win against Cerezo Osaka.
The game got off to a faced-paced start as Cerezo striker Takumi Minamino needed just five minutes to head in the opening goal - Cerezo's first in five games. Frontale's Yu Kobayashi responded just five minutes later with a goal of his own, and 2013 Golden Boot winner Yoshito Okubo sent the hosts into the lead before the quarter-hour mark was up.
A penalty kick by Renato and an additional-time goal by captain Kengo Nakamura sent Frontale into the half-time break with a 4-1 lead, as Cerezo manager Marco Pezzaiuoli attempted to marshal his relegation-threatened side toward a comeback.
Just four minutes into the second half, Yuske Maruhashi made it 4-2 when he buried Ryo Nagai's cross, inspiring the visitors to press the attack. Kota Fujimotot's 74th-minute header brought the scoreline to 4-3 as Frontale hinted at the possibility of what would be the most dramatic collapse of the season.
Much to the relief of 18,124 in attendance, however, Kobayashi delivered his second goal of the night in the 81st minute, giving the hosts a 5-3 lead that even Diego Forlan's 85th-minute goal could not erase by the time the referee blew the final whistle.
Despite the result putting Cerezo back into the relegation zone and extending their winless streak to nine games, the goal rush likely gave supporters hope ahead of next Saturday's match at Sanfrecce Hiroshima, when new signing and former Germany international Cacau is considered likely to be a part of the squad.
After a victory narrower than it should have been, Frontale improved to second place in the standings with 39 points, one behind league-leading Urawa Reds.