Holders Kashiwa Reysol will host relegated Oita Trinita in the last 16 after the Emperor’s Cup draw was held Sunday.
J. League first division leaders Yokohama F. Marinos drew the competition’s only remaining amateur side, AC Nagano Parceiro, while record four-time winners Kashima Antlers were pitted at home against reigning J1 champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the round’s marquee matchup.
Kashiwa captain Hidekazu Otani said Oita, dead last in the league with just 13 points from 29 games, could be a tricky proposition having nothing to lose.
“The league is a totally different competition,” said Otani, whose side is also in the Nov. 2 Nabisco Cup final. “We’ve got to prepare well because they can’t be underestimated.”
In other round-of-16 pairings, Shimizu S-Pulse welcome Vegalta Sendai while Omiya Ardija and FC Tokyo clash in Omiya. Sagan Tosu are at Cerezo Osaka, and J2 outfit Montedio Yamagata will travel to Kawasaki to face Frontale.
Relegation-threatened Ventforet Kofu will host Consadole Sapporo of the second division.
The games will be played on Nov. 16 and 20. The New Year’s Day final will be held for the last time at Tokyo’s existing National Stadium, which will undergo renovation for the 2020 Olympics.
The Emperor’s Cup champions qualify automatically for next season’s Asian Champions League.