• Kyodo


Takahiro Sekine scored twice as Urawa Reds cruised into the quarterfinals of the Emperor’s Cup with a 7-1 demolition of third-division Machida Zelvia on Wednesday night.

Defender Wataru Hashimoto opened the floodgates on the half hour mark and goals from Tadanari Lee and Sekine put Urawa all but out of sight by halftime.

Machida replied through Tomohiro Taira but a blistering effort from Yuki Abe made it 4-1 and Toshiyuki Takagi and Shinzo Koroki both netted before Sekine completed the rout.

Reds will face the winner of Saturday’s fourth-round tie between Yokohama F. Marinos and Vissel Kobe in the quarterfinals on Dec. 26.

Machida, the only third-division team left in the competition, made a bright start but Abe hit the post for Reds and Hashimoto headed home from a corner to put them in front.

Hashimoto, who has been limited to a handful of mainly substitute appearances in his first season since joining Reds from Kashiwa Reysol, then turned provider for Lee to score with a first-time effort to make it 2-0 two minutes later.

Sekine rolled in the third in the second minute of first-half stoppage time.

Taira gave Machida hope when he pulled one back five minutes into the second half with a cracking volley. Yuya Nakamura then hit the post, but Abe killed the game off in the 65th minute, drilling home after Machida could only half clear a corner.

Takagi added the fifth in the 69th and Koroki curled in the sixth from the edge of the box with 15 minutes left before a fine finish from Sekine wrapped up the scoring in stoppage time.

In Wednesday’s other games, goals from Ryoichi Maeda and Kento Hashimoto saw FC Tokyo advance with a 2-0 win over second-division Mito Hollyhock.

Tokyo in the last eight will face J-League leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima, who were sent through by a 93rd-minute goal from Byeo Jun Byum in a 2-1 win against J2’s Tokushima Vortis.

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