TENDO, YAMAGATA PREFECTURE – Holders Kashima Antlers cruised into the fourth round of the Emperor’s Cup with a 5-0 drubbing of second-division Montedio Yamagata on Wednesday night.
Kawasaki Frontale, who lost to Antlers in last season’s final in Osaka, beat J2 club Thespakusatsu Gunma 4-0 and also reached the last 16 along with Urawa Reds, Gamba Osaka, Kashiwa Reysol and the majority of J1 clubs.
Sagan Tosu were the only top-flight club to get knocked out by lower-ranked opposition on Wednesday, going down 2-1 against second-division Matsumoto Yamaga.
Tsukuba University continued its giant-killing run with the biggest upset of the night, a 2-1 win over Avispa Fukuoka of J2.
Daigo Nishi put Kashima on its way after five minutes at ND Soft Stadium, drilling home from the edge of the box after Leandro had dispossessed Lee Je-seung on the right flank.
Yuma Suzuki lost his marker to head in a cross from Mitsuo Ogasawara and double the lead four minutes into the second half, before a sweetly struck effort by Leandro made it 3-0 in the 54th.
Midfielder Koki Kazama redirected a cross from Itsuki Oda into his own net to make it 4-0 to Antlers, and Atsutaka Nakamura scored from close range in the 93rd minute to complete the scoring and compound a miserable night for Yamagata.
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