YOKOHAMA – Goals from Hugo Vieira and Teruhito Nakagawa sent Yokohama F. Marinos into the Levain Cup final after a 2-2 semifinal second-leg draw with Kashima Antlers lifted the hosts to a 4-3 win on aggregate.
Vieira, who scored the 95th-minute winner in Wednesday’s first leg, opened Marinos’ account at Nippatsu Mitsuzawa Stadium in the 20th minute, pouncing on a rebound from a shot by Jun Amano and hitting it home.
“I was prepared and anticipated and that’s why I was able to score,” the Portuguese forward said. “As expected it was a tough game. Antlers are a powerhouse club, always in the fight for the league and the Emperor’s Cup. Now it’s on to the final.”
Nakagawa made it 2-0 in the 34th minute, tapping home past former Japan goalkeeper Hitoshi Sogahata when Amano, getting on the end of a through ball from Keita Endo at a tight angle, crossed to him at the far post.
“That goal worked just the way we practice it,” Nakagawa said. “Jun did all the work setting it up and giving me that great ball, so it was an easy finish.”
Antlers battled their way back into the tie after the break, when Shoma Doi pulled one back in the 62nd minute after cutting off a lazy pass from Marinos keeper Hiroki Iikura.
Eight minutes later, Serginho, a second-half substitute, scored on a free header, with Marinos defenders taken by surprise by a ball from Koki Anzai. The Antlers midfielder was on the verge of tumbling backward as he struck it, but his off-balance shot floated straight to Serginho who nodded it in from point-blank range.
Later in the afternoon at Shonan BMW Stadium, Shonan Bellmare prevailed 5-4 in penalty kicks over Kashiwa Reysol to reach tournament’s final for the first time in club history.
After a 3-3 draw following 210 minutes of action across two legs, Reysol’s Ryohei Yamazaki, who scored their second equalizer of the day in the second half of extra time, sailed his penalty attempt above the crossbar to give Bellmare the win.
The final, which is now a Kanagawa Derby, will take place on Oct. 27 at Saitama Stadium.