Former Japan striker Akinori Nishizawa scored a last-ditch winner as Cerezo Osaka put its dismal league form behind it with a 1-0 win over Ventforet Kofu in the Nabisco Cup on Wednesday.
Currently propping up the J. League first division with just one win from 12 matches, Cerezo moved top of Group D after Hiroaki Morishima set up Nishizawa to steal the points in the dying stages at Kose Sports Park in Yamanashi Prefecture.
Cerezo leads idle Jubilo Iwata on goal difference and has a game in hand with seven points from three matches, while Omiya moved off the foot of the group after Daigo Kobayashi set up goals for Hiroshi Morita and Yukio Tsuchiya in a 2-1 win at Nagoya Grampus Eight in the night’s only other match.
The top team from each of the four groups advances to the quarterfinals along with three teams with the best runnerup records and last year’s beaten finalist Gamba Osaka.
Gamba received a bye into the last eight due to its recent involvement in the Asian Champions League.
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