Holder Tokyo Verdy crashed out of the Emperor’s Cup along with fellow first-division struggler Vissel Kobe on Thursday, but 14 other sides in the J. League’s top flight booked places in the fifth round.

News photoCerezo Osaka midfielder Takanori Nunobe (right) competes for the ball with Honda FC’s Daiju Kawashima during a fourth-round Emperor’s Cup match at Nagai Stadium.

Magno Alves struck twice in the second half as Oita Trinita came from behind to beat Verdy 3-2 on a day 16 first-division teams began their campaigns after receiving byes in the earlier rounds.

Daigo Kobayashi gave Verdy a 2-1 lead late in the first half after Oita striker Masato Yamazaki canceled out a 10th-minute strike from former Japan international Takashi Hirano. But Alves turned the game around with clinical finishes in the 74th and 78th minutes.

In Thursday’s other clash between J1 sides, Kashiwa Reysol edged bottom club Kobe on penalties after finishing 2-2 after extra time.

Elsewhere, Chikashi Masuda scored a hat-trick as the Kashima Antlers demolished regional qualifier Honda Lock 7-0 and Jubilo Iwata, last season’s beaten finalist, crushed second-division Sagan Tosu 4-0.

The Urawa Reds overcame a halftime deficit to see off Montedio Yamagata 2-1 and Cerezo Osaka squeaked by Japan Football League side Honda FC on penalties following a 1-1 stalemate.

Second-division leader Kyoto Purple Sanga, which has secured promotion back to the top flight, lost 1-0 to Omiya Ardija. Avispa Fukuoka, headed for another automatic promotion spot, tumbled to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of FC Tokyo.

Kawasaki Frontale, Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Yokohama F. Marinos, Nagoya Grampus Eight, Albirex Niigata and Shimizu S-Pulse also ran out winners to go through to the fifth round to be played Dec. 10.

Gamba Osaka and JEF United Chiba, who meet in the Nabisco Cup final Saturday, play their fourth-round matches next Wednesday.

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