Dutch forward Alex Schalk scored in his J-League first-division debut to help spur in-form Urawa Reds to a 3-0 win over Kashiwa Reysol on Friday.
Veteran attacker Shinzo Koroki opened the scoring before Schalk and Takahiro Akimoto also found the net for manager Maciej Skorza's visiting side, who provisionally climbed to second on the table with their fourth straight league win.
Nelsinho's Reysol, meanwhile, continue to look for answers and a first J1 win to lift them from the bottom two.
Back with Urawa following a one-year loan stint for Consadole Sapporo, Koroki showed good control in close quarters to net from close range in the 44th minute at Sankyo Frontier Stadium after Marius Hoibraten triggered the attack with his probing long ball.
Schalk came off the bench in the 72nd minute and quickly doubled the lead after Tomoaki Okubo's deflected through ball found him in the box.
The 30-year-old Dutchman also provided a cross that Akimoto acrobatically volleyed home for Urawa's third in the 82nd minute.
"The coach brought me in to make an impact, and I was more than happy to be decisive today," Schalk said. "We are back at the top of the table where we want to be, and we can only go forward."
First-year manager Skorza praised Schalk, a new arrival from Swiss outfit Servette FC, for turning a tough away fixture in favor of the visitors.
"This is a very positive situation. When Schalk received the chance today, he used it in the perfect way," Skorza said. "It's a good moment for our team. We have to be realistic and think about the next day, the next game and work very hard."