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Niigata gives students reality check

Kyodo News

Meiji University’s dreams of Emperor’s Cup glory were dealt a dose of reality on Sunday as Albirex Niigata dumped the precocious amateurs out of the competition with a 3-1 win to set up a quarterfinal clash with Shimizu S-Pulse.

With victories over Shonan Bellmare and Montedio Yamagata in previous rounds, the student adventurers were hoping to take another high-profile scalp, but the fairy tale ended unhappily ever after in a wet and windy Yamagata.

In the day’s big derby clash, Kawasaki Frontale took the spoils with a hard-fought 2-1 win against Yokohama F. Marinos.

Kawasaki’s opponents in the quarterfinals will be Vegalta Sendai, newly promoted from the second division, whose strikers did the business in a stunning 3-0 trouncing of Nabisco Cup winners FC Tokyo.