There was terrific drama as Vissel Kobe progressed to the semi-finals of the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup despite losing 3-2 to Kashiwa Reysol at home in the second leg of the quarter-finals on Sunday.
Despite succumbing to a 2-0 loss at Kashiwa Stadium in the first leg, Reysol were always capable of mounting a comeback and they proved it as they surged into a two-goal lead of their own within half an hour.
Ederson first escaped the attention of his marker to head in a cross from deep before Masato Kudo then turned in his own header, putting both teams level on aggregate.
Leandro then replied for Nelsinho’s Vissel, latching on to Kazuma Watanabe’s slide-rule pass to fire home, but Reysol would soon restore a two-goal advantage that would have taken them to the next stage on away goals.
That came in the second half when Cristiano knocked down for Ederson to nod in his second on the night, putting the visitors back in the driver’s seat.
But Ryota Morioka had other plans, firing in a free-kick that went in after taking a huge deflection off Reysol’s wall to gift Nelsinho a 4-3 aggregate win over his former employers, and set up a semi-final meeting for Vissel with Kashima Antlers.
Meanwhile, Yuki Abe was on hand with a brace as Urawa Reds defeated Albirex 3-0 in their second leg fixture, but that was not enough to see them progress to the semis.
The home side knew the magnitude of overturning a 5-0 deficit from the first leg, but still set out to complete the task with an energetic display in the first period.
However, they were unable to find the breakthrough as the minutes ticked on, and it was only after the break that Abe recorded his and the Reds’ first of the night as his attempted backheel flick from a corner took a deflection in.
The goal still galvanised Mihailo Petrovic’s side and Tadanari Lee turned in Tomoya Ugajin’s cross just three minutes later to get the Saitama Stadium crowd in full voice and believing a comeback was on the cards.
It was in the 70th minute that Abe completed his brace, tucking home from the penalty spot, but it was ultimately not to be as Albirex secured passage to the semi-finals with a 5-3 win on aggregate.