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JEF edge Reysol after epic shootout

Kyodo

Yamato Machida scored the decisive spot kick to fire JEF United Chiba into the fourth round of the Emperor’s Cup on Wednesday night as Takashi Sekizuka’s side claimed local bragging rights with 12-11 penalty shootout win away to Kashiwa Reysol.

Leandro had his shot saved by Chiba goalkeeper Shun Takagi and Machida atoned for missing his first effort by drilling home to seal victory after a 1-1 draw in 120 minutes, extending Chiba’s excellent run of results under Sekizuka in the process.

Chiba will play fellow J2 side V-Varen Nagasaki in the next round after they also pulled off an upset win by beating Albirex Niigata 2-1 away.

JEF came into the match unbeaten since Sekizuka took over as manager, Japan’s 2012 London Olympic coach beginning his reign with a 2-1 win over Nagano Parceiro on July 13 in the second round, and they nearly took the lead after just three minutes, Machida whistling a shot just over the bar.

Yusuke Tanaka then tried his luck from distance but failed to seriously trouble Reysol keeper Takanori Sugeno and it was Kashiwa that came closest to taking the lead five minutes before halftime.

Yusuke Kobayashi crashed a shot from the edge of the area against the crossbar and the rebound fell to Masato Kudo, who skewed the rebound way off target.

Chiba had a good spell early in the second half and Akira Takeuchi forced Sugeno into a smart save at the near post on 54 minutes.

Substitute Ado Onaiwu nearly snatched a winner for JEF in the last minute when he headed against the bar, before Takagi pulled off a superb save to deny Leandro at the other end in injury time.

Onaiwu broke the deadlock in the 108th minute by burying a rightwing cross from Ryosuke Yamanaka, who is on loan at JEF from Kashiwa this season, only for Wataru Hashimoto to hammer in the equalizer after a goalmouth scramble and send the game to a shootout.

Holders Yokohama F. Marinos, Urawa Reds and Kawasaki all suffered upset defeats, but J1 clubs Sagan Tosu, Nagoya Grampus, FC Tokyo, Shimizu S-Pulse, Gamba Osaka, Cerezo Osaka, Ventforet Kofu and Omiya Ardija all came through unscathed to reach the next round.

Marinos lost 3-2 in extra time at home to Giravanz Kitakyushu, league leaders Urawa Reds were knocked out after going down 2-1 at home to second-tier Thespa Kusatsu Gunma, and Kawasaki Frontale were beaten 1-0 at home by Ehime.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s scheduled home game against Mito Hollyhock was switched to Aug. 27 after torrential overnight rain triggered flooding and landslides that have left dozens dead or missing in the area.