Nagoya Grampus took a big step toward the Levain Cup final on Wednesday, beating FC Tokyo 3-1 in the first leg of their semifinal after Yoichiro Kakitani, Yasuki Kimoto and Mateus found the net.
Urawa Reds and Cerezo Osaka, meanwhile, finished their first-leg clash deadlocked 1-1 at Saitama Stadium after Hiroto Yamada equalized for the visitors midway through the second half, canceling out Kasper Junker’s early opening goal.
Grampus took the lead in the 17th minute at Toyota Stadium when Kakitani finished an attacking movement by side-footing home from the middle of the area.
Kimoto doubled the advantage in the 69th minute, pouncing amid a goal-mouth scramble following a free kick into the box.
Adailton pulled a goal back for the visitors in injury time but Mateus immediately restored the two-goal advantage with a clinical strike from the edge of the area.
The semifinalists will face off again in Sunday’s second-leg matches, with FC Tokyo and Cerezo hosting.
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