IWATA, Shizuoka Pref. – Holder Kashima Antlers overturned a one-goal, first-leg deficit to beat archrival Jubilo Iwata 2-1 on aggregate in the semifinals of the Nabisco Cup on Wednesday.
Kashima will meet Urawa Reds in a rerun of the 2002 final after Hans Ooft’s side hammered Shimizu S-Pulse 6-1 at home to book its spot in the Nov. 3 showdown at Tokyo’s National Stadium.
Trailing on Aleksandar Zivkovic’s late strike in the first leg, Kashima leveled the tie at Yamaha Stadium when Brazilian midfielder Fernando headed home three minutes after the interval.
Jubilo failed to clear its lines and Tatsuya Ishikawa fed Masaki Fukai, who stole in and hooked a cross back from the left for Fernando to power home at the far post.
Ishikawa was again the architect as he set up Masashi Motoyama to score the crucial second to give Kashima a 2-0 win on the night, the latter lashing home after a clever fake from Fukai in the 62nd minute.
“We were desperate to get the win and I think that was clear for all to see by the way we played tonight,” said match winner Motoyama.
“Urawa is a decent side and the final should be an entertaining match,” he added.
In Saitama, jet-heeled Brazilian forward Emerson helped himself to a hat trick in eight minutes during the second half and Tatsuya Tanaka grabbed a double as Urawa pulverized S-Pulse 6-2 on aggregate to earn a chance to avenge its 1-0 defeat to Kashima in last year’s final.
OSAKA (Kyodo) Akihiro Nishimura stepped down as manager of J. League first-division club Cerezo Osaka on Wednesday after failing to halt the team’s recent run of poor results.
After winning promotion from the second division last year, Cerezo finished a respectable fifth in the first stage but has won just once in nine matches in the second stage, and is currently languishing in 15th position in the 16-team standings.
The 45-year-old Nishimura will be replaced by former Ventforet Kofu manager Yuji Tsukada, who is currently head coach at Cerezo.
“I’m sorry about our poor results in the second stage. I hope the team can do well in its remaining six matches and I’d like to thank the fans for all the support they have given me,” Nishimura said in a club statement.
Nishimura coached Japan to second place at the Under-19 Asian championship in 2000 and served as manager of Japan’s Under-20 side at the World Youth Championship in Argentina in 2001, before joining Cerezo as head coach later that year.
He succeeded Brazilian Joao Carlos as manager for the final three games of the 2001 season.
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