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Shonan advances to Levain Cup semifinal for first time in 22 years

Kyodo

Shonan Bellmare booked a place in the semifinals of the Levain Cup on Sunday following a 5-2 aggregate victory over holders Cerezo Osaka.

The two J-League sides drew 2-2 in the second leg of the league cup quarterfinal at Yanmar Stadium Nagai, after Bellmare won Wednesday’s first leg 3-0 at BMW Stadium. It is the first time Shonan have made it to the semis since 1996, when the side was still called Bellmare Hiratsuka.

Toshiyuki Takagi gave Cerezo a 25th-minute lead, but Shonan forward Daiki Kaneko leveled just six minutes later.

The home team scored again when Brazilian midfielder Souza struck in the 35th minute, but Ryogo Yamasaki equalized for the visitors from the penalty spot just before halftime.

Kashima Antlers made it to the last four for the first time in three years after beating Kawasaki Frontale 3-1, with a brace by Shuto Yamamoto and a second-half goal by Serginho. The two sides had drawn the first leg 1-1.

Shonan and Kashima were joined in the last four by Kashiwa Reysol and Yokohama F Marinos.

Yokohama F. Marinos cruised to a 3-1 victory over Gamba Osaka, having beaten them 4-0 on Wednesday, while Kashiwa knocked out second-division side Ventforet Kofu on away goals after they ended 3-3 on aggregate.