KUMAMOTO – Midfielder Yosuke Kashiwagi scored a goal and set up the other in the first half Sunday to help relegated Sanfrecce Hiroshima to a 2-0 win and a spot in the semifinals of the Emperor’s Cup.
Sanfrecce, who lost their first division status after a playoff defeat by Kyoto Sanga two weeks ago, took control from the outset and opened the scoring after 14 minutes through Kashiwagi.
Hisato Sato flicked a left-wing cross from Koji Morisaki into the path of Kashiwagi, who slotted the ball into the top right corner of the net past FC Tokyo goalkeeper Hitoshi Shiota.
Kashiwagi turned provider 24 minutes later, cutting inside the penalty area with a brilliant solo effort before feeding an unmarked Yuichi Komano, whose clinical finish doubled the lead for Sanfrecce.
The Hiroshima defense held out in the second half and the result at Kumamoto will see Sanfrecce take on Gamba Osaka in Shizuoka in the semifinals next Saturday.
“It’s true we were relegated but the way we have been playing in the Emperor’s Cup is our brand of football. I believe today’s game impressed many people in that sense,” Kashiwagi said. “Now that we’ve gone this far, all we can see is the final at National Stadium on New Year’s Day.”
Kawasaki Frontale joined Hiroshima in the last four by stopping a surprise run by second division side Ehime FC at Saitama by the same scoreline.
Masahiro Ohashi latched onto a loose clearance to drive home a mid-range shot in the 44th minute and Juninho made it 2-0 with a 66th-minute penalty as Kawasaki set up a meeting with J. League champions Kashima Antlers.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.