CHIBA – Holder JEF United Chiba secured a place in the quarterfinals of the J. League Nabisco Cup after a 1-0 win at home to Shimizu S-Pulse in the final round of group-stage matches on Sunday.
Satoru Yamagishi struck the winner nine minutes from time at Fukuda Denshi Arena as Group C winner JEF set up a meeting with Cerezo Osaka, which finished top of Group D.
Akinori Nishizawa struck twice for Cerezo in the 3-2 Group D win at home to Omiya Ardija while Jubilo Iwata, Yokohama F. Marinos and Kashima Antlers all advanced to the last eight.
Iwata edged Nagoya Grampus Eight 2-1 as a late winner from Ryoichi Maeda gave his side the runners-up spot in Group D while Kashima and Yokohama went through despite losing their final matches.
In Group A, Yokohama was beaten 4-2 away to Urawa Reds, which had already booked its spot in the knockout tournament, while 10-man Kashima finished second in Group B after a 2-1 loss to Kawasaki Frontale.
J. League leader Kawasaki faces Urawa Reds while Yokohama takes on Iwata and Kashima faces last year’s beaten finalist Gamba Osaka.
In other matches, FC Tokyo drew 0-0 with Avispa Fukuoka, Sanfrecce Hiroshima won 1-0 at Albirex Niigata and Oita Trinita edged Kyoto Purple Sanga 2-1.
The top team from each group and the best three runners-up advanced to the quarterfinals along with Gamba, which was given a first-round bye because of its involvement in the Asian Champions League.
The two-leg quarterfinals will be played in early June with the semis penciled in for the first week of October and the final in early November.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.