• Kyodo

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Matsumoto Yamaga came from behind to win 3-2 at first-division rivals Shonan Bellmare to book their place in the fourth round of the Emperor’s Cup on Saturday.

Shonan took the lead in style after 14 minutes, when Shunsuke Kikuchi took a lay-off at the edge of the box and beat Matsumoto goalkeeper Tomohiko Murayama with a blistering first-time effort into the top corner.

The home side’s joy proved short-lived, though, as Matsumoto leveled in the 18th.

A free kick routine set up Naoki Maeda just outside the area and the midfielder scored with a shot that Shonan ‘keeper Lee Ho Seung will probably feel he ought to have saved.

Obina latched onto a deep pass and fired home to put Matsumoto in front seven minutes into the second half and it got even better for Yasuharu Sorimachi’s men as Jun Ando buried the third in the 57th after a flick-on from Shunsuke Iwanuma.

Substitute Kaoru Takayama pulled one back for Shonan with seven minutes left, making space for himself and drilling in off the right post, but Matsumoto hung on to book its place in the next round.

“The last time we played Shonan in the league (on Sept. 12) they came back right at the end (to draw 1-1) and we are relieved that didn’t happen today,” said Matsumoto captain Masaki Iida.

Victory was the second in succession for Matsumoto after last weekend’s 1-0 league win over Shimizu S-Pulse but it remains in relegation trouble in its first season in the top flight.

“We need to keep the momentum going to stay in J1 and cannot afford to lose,” Iida said. “Today’s win was massive for us.”

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