Mutsuki Kato fired Cerezo Osaka into the Levain Cup final on Sunday, netting the only goal in a 1-0 win over Urawa Reds in the second leg of their semifinal.
The victory on home soil gave Cerezo a 2-1 aggregate win after the two sides drew Wednesday’s first-leg clash at Saitama Stadium 1-1.
Akio Kogiku’s men will play the Oct. 30 cup final against Nagoya Grampus, who earned a 4-3 aggregate win over FC Tokyo despite losing their dramatic second-leg clash 2-1.
Following a first half of few clear chances, Urawa’s Danish forward Kasper Junker struck the side netting shortly after the interval at Osaka’s Yodoko Sakura Stadium.
Kato made the breakthrough in the 53rd minute, finishing a brisk attacking movement down the left flank.
With the home side surging forward, Yusuke Maruhashi fired a diagonal pass into the area for Kato, who had an initial attempt blocked before gathering the rebound and beating Urawa keeper Zion Suzuki from a tight angle.
At Tokyo’s Ajinomoto Stadium, Grampus midfielder Sho Inagaki netted late for the visitors to secure the aggregate win.
Massimo Ficcadenti’s Nagoya side arrived in the capital with a 3-1 advantage from Wednesday’s first leg, but FC Tokyo evened the slate by scoring twice unanswered in the return match.
Adailton headed home off a corner kick in the 15th minute and Yojiro Takahagi poached a second in the 55th minute, winning the race to the ball after Nagoya keeper Mitch Langerak stopped a shot from Kensuke Nagai.
With the tie bound for a deadlock, Inagaki nodded home from the goal line in the 80th minute after the FC Tokyo defense failed to clear successive attempts by the visitors.
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