Tokyo Verdy, FC Tokyo and Nagoya Grampus Eight booked their places in the quarterfinals of the J. League Nabisco Cup after adding points in their first-round campaigns Saturday night.
In a Group A clash, Verdy beat J. League first-stage winner Yokohama F. Marinos 3-0 at home on goals from Yoshiyuki Kobayashi, Atsushi Yoneyama and Daigo Kobayashi, as the home side was guaranteed top spot in the first-round group on 13 points from five matches.
FC Tokyo also advanced to the last eight after a 2-1 away win over Vissel Kobe, thanks to a second-half winner from Brazilian striker Lucas. An early strike from Ryoichi Kurisawa was canceled out by Kobe’s Brazilian defender Roger before halftime in the Group D match.
Nagoya wasted a two-goal advantage to draw 2-2 with Gamba Osaka at home in a Group B match, which saw Brazilian forward Marques find the net twice after the half hour, only to allow Gamba to come back through Fernandinho and Mitsuteru Watanabe.
Elsewhere, second-half goals from Hiroto Mori and Kohei Morita gave Sanfrecce Hiroshima a 2-0 away win over last-place Cerezo Osaka in Group A. Hiroshima is level with F. Marinos on seven points.
Albirex Niigata drew 1-1 with Jubilo Iwata on a late equalizer from Shingo Suzuki at Niigata Stadium and remains second in Group B on six points, one point ahead of Gamba and Iwata.
Kashiwa Reysol and Kashima Antlers played to a scoreless draw in Kashiwa, leaving Antlers five points adrift of FC Tokyo and two points ahead of Reysol.
Three teams are level on nine points in Group C after Urawa Reds edged JEF United Ichihara 2-1 on an injury-time winner from Masayuki Okano and Shimizu S-Pulse beat Oita Trinia 1-0 courtesy of a Ryuzo Morioka free-kick. Oita, which has three points, was eliminated.
The group stage features 16 first-division teams playing home and away matches in four groups with the top two teams from each group advancing to the quarterfinals.
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