SAITAMA – Omiya Ardija joined crosstown rivals Urawa Reds in the Nabisco Cup quarterfinals while JEF United Chiba and Cerezo Osaka also advanced past the group phase on the final day of fixtures in the J. League Nabisco Cup first round on Saturday.
Omiya scored a comfortable 3-0 home win over lowly Vissel Kobe in Group A with goals from Satoshi Yokoyama, Tatsunori Hisanaga and Yosuke Kataoka as the Saitama club secured a spot in the last eight as one of the two best runnersup.
Also in the group, Edmilson scored in each half to lead Albirex Niigata to a 3-0 home win over Urawa Reds, who had already been assured of their place in the quarterfinals a week ago as group winners.
The result ended Urawa’s winning run at five games.
Urawa finished the group stage on 15 points from six matches, five clear of Omiya, which advanced on goal difference over third-placed Niigata. Vissel was left without a point.
In Group C, JEF United Chiba came from two goals down to knock holder FC Tokyo out of the competition with a 3-2 win at home.
Yasuyuki Konno and Mitsunori Toda put FC Tokyo up 2-0 by the break but Chiba battled back with a goal from Naotake Hanyu and a brace from Gabriel Popescu in the span of 13 second-half minutes.
Kashiwa Reysol and Oita Trinita crashed out after a goalless draw at Oita. Chiba won the group on 13 points, with Kashiwa second on eight, ahead of Oita on six and FC Tokyo on five.
In Group D, Bruno Quadros and former Japan striker Akinori Nishizawa found the net to give Cerezo Osaka a 2-0 win over Kashima Antlers at Nagai Stadium.
Cerezo scraped into the quarterfinals on 10 points, one behind group winner Shimizu S-Pulse, which lost 1-0 at home to Nagoya Grampus Eight. Nagoya and Kashima ended their lackluster Nabisco Cup campaigns with seven and five points, respectively.
In Group B, already qualified Gamba Osaka wrapped up its first-round schedule with a 2-1 victory at Tokyo Verdy to move to 13 points.
Kawasaki Frontale downed visiting Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3-1 but missed out on a place in the knockout stage.
Moniwa joins squad
FRANKFURT (Kyodo) FC Tokyo defender Teruyuki Moniwa has been called up to Japan’s squad for the upcoming Confederations Cup in Germany to replace injured Yokohama F. Marinos defender Yuji Nakazawa, team officials said Saturday.
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