MATSUE, Shimane Pref. – Giant-killing Honda FC pulled off another massive Emperor’s Cup upset on Saturday as the amateur side motored past first-division Nagoya Grampus Eight 2-0 in the fifth round.
Kodai Suzuki and Junya Nitta, whose goals knocked out Kashiwa Reysol in the fourth round, were the heroes again as both hit the target to set up a showdown with J. League champions Kashima Antlers in the quarterfinals on Dec. 22.
Ehime FC, shock winners over holders Urawa Reds in the last round, was the only other side outside the top flight to advance after a 2-1 defeat of Yokohama FC, Shingo Hoshino heading the winner for the second-division outfit in the late stages.
In Shimane Prefecture, Suzuki put Honda in front with a left-footed drive after 68 minutes and Nitta completed victory for the Japan Football League side when he steered home 16 minutes from time.
Honda became the first JFL team to reach the quarterfinals since Thespa Kusatsu did it in 2004.
Ventforet Kofu forced extra time through Junya Kuno’s 89th-minute strike at Kashima Stadium, but the home side advanced thanks to Atsushi Yanagisawa’s 109th-minute header.
Ehime’s reward is a meeting with Kawasaki Frontale, who cruised to a 3-0 win at 10-man Vissel Kobe courtesy of three first-half goals from Yusuke Mori and Chong Tese.
At Fukuda Denshi Arena, Shinichi Terada scored twice as last year’s beaten finalists Gamba Osaka beat Oita Trinita 3-1.
Gamba will play Shimizu S-Pulse, 5-3 winners over Yokohama F. Marinos, in the next round.
FC Tokyo takes on the winners of next week’s fifth-round tie between Jubilo Iwata and Sanfrecce Hiroshima after Sota Hirayama’s 80th-minute effort saw them come from behind to beat Sagan Tosu 2-1.
The Hiroshima-Iwata game was switched because of Hiroshima’s involvement in the J. League promotion/relegation playoff with Kyoto Sanga.
The semifinals will be held on Dec. 29 before the final at Tokyo’s National Stadium brings the Japanese soccer season to a close on New Year’s Day.
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