Vegalta Sendai defeated relegated Matsumoto Yamaga 2-1 on Saturday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Emperor’s Cup.
Shingo Tomita bundled in the opener midway through the second half at a rain-hit Yurtec Stadium and Naoki Sugai scored an equally scrappy second to all but make the game safe.
Yamaga pulled one back with four minutes remaining, courtesy of an own goal from Hiroki Yamamoto, but Sendai held on to book their spot in the last eight.
Sendai will face the winner of Sunday’s fourth-round tie between Kashiwa Reysol and Ventforet Kofu in the quarterfinals on Dec. 26.
Sendai broke the deadlock in the 67th minute when Tomita stretched to poke home after Hidetaka Kanazono failed to get a clean connection with Ryang Yong-gi’s pass from the right.
The home side doubled its lead with nine minutes left, Sugai getting the final touch after Yamamoto had put Ryang’s corner back across the face of goal.
Yamaga pulled one back when Kohei Kudo’s corner came off substitute Yamamoto’s right leg and ended up in the back of Sendai’s net to set up a tense finale.
In other matches, Vissel Kobe edged Yokohama F. Marinos 1-0 thanks to Ryota Morioka’s 75th-minute strike and will meet Urawa Reds in the next round. Reds hammered third-division Machida Zelvia 7-1 on Wednesday.
Kota Mizunuma snatched a 92nd-minute winner as Sagan Tosu beat Montedio Yamaga 4-3. Tosu will play the winners of Sunday’s match Gamba Osaka-Kawasaki Frontale match.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.