J. League runnerup Yokohama F. Marinos moved within a win of their first silverware in nine years after reaching the Emperor’s Cup final with a 2-0 home victory over Sagan Tosu on Sunday.
Late goals from J. League Player of the Year Shunsuke Nakamura and Shingo Hyodo sent Yokohama into the New Year’s Day classic, which will be held at Tokyo’s National Stadium for the last time before the ground undergoes renovation for the 2020 Olympics.
Nakamura doubled Marinos’ lead in the 94th minute. Hyodo had broken the deadlock eight minutes earlier for the hosts, who were in the last four for the third straight year.
Marinos have not won a title of any kind since capturing the league championship in 2004. They lost this season’s title race on the final weekend, when Sanfrecce Hiroshima overtook them by a point to win for the second straight year.
Hiroshima was set to play FC Tokyo in the other semifinal later Sunday.