KASHIMA, IBARAKI PREF. – Goalkeeper Takashi Kasahara was the hero as second-division Mito Hollyhock stunned its illustrious local rival Kashima Antlers 3-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw to advance to the fourth round of the Emperor’s Cup on Wednesday.
Kasahara pulled off a string of saves to keep Kashima at bay in regulation and extra time but he saved his most important stop until the shootout, keeping out Takahide Umebachi’s effort with a diving save to seal a famous victory.
Kashima had plenty of chances to take the lead in an entertaining first half on the Ibaraki coast but found Kasahara in superb form.
Kasahara pulled off a superb double save to deny Davi and then use his right leg to keep out an effort from Taro Sugimoto from point-blank range.
But Mito spurned a couple of decent opportunities of its own nearing the end of the first period, Makito Yoshida sending a free header over the bar before Kashima keeper Akihiro Sato tipped over a stinging effort from Yuto Suzuki.
Kasahara produced more heroics to beat away a shot from Ryuga Suzuki on 70 minutes and a vicious effort from Shuhei Akasaki at the end of the first extra period before stealing the show in the shootout.
In other games, second-division Tokushima Vortis upset Albirex Niigata 2-1 away, Yu Hasegawa scoring the clincher in the 75th minute, but the rest of the J1 teams in action secured their passage into the fourth round.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima edged second-division Roasso Kumamoto 1-0 thanks to Yusuke Minagawa’s goal and an 83rd-minute strike from Diego gave first-division strugglers Montedio Yamagata won 2-1 at home to third-division Fujieda MYFC.
Taisuke Akiyoshi’s goal earned Ventforet Kofu a 1-0 win against J2’s Ehime and third-division Machida Zelvia joined them in the next round thanks to a 2-0 win over second-tier Avispa Fukuoka.
Yoshito Okubo put Kawasaki Frontale on the way to a 3-0 win over Kyoto Sanga and Kazuma Watanabe’s first-half effort was enough for Vissel Kobe to sink JEF United Chiba.
Sho Ito’s extra-time goal gave Yokohama F. Marinos a 1-0 win over Oita Trinita, Vegalta Sendai beat Omiya Ardija 4-3 on penalties and Sagan Tosu won 2-1 on penalties against Consadole Sapporo.
The draw for the fourth round onward will take place on Oct. 22.
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