The 96th Emperor’s Cup began on Saturday, with amateur and collegiate teams competing with J.League clubs to become champions of Japan.
The opening round of matches featured participants in the MEIJI YASUDA J2 and J3 League taking on prefectural representatives, with the J.League clubs usually emerging victorious.
Current J2 leaders Consadole Sapporo won 3-0 over the University of Tsukuba, while Yoji Sasaki scored four goals in Tokushima Vortis’ 6-0 rout of FC Tokushima.
Elsewhere, some clubs found unexpected challenges: Montedio Yamagata needed extra time to oust Kansai League First Division outfit Arterivo Wakayama, while a last-minute goal by Keita Tanaka put FC Ryukyu through over Honda Lock SC.
The first day also brought upsets; Japan Football League participants Honda FC defeated FC Gifu 2-1 thanks to a goal at the end of extra time, while Machida Zelvia fell 0-1 to Kanagawa University.
The remaining 10 matches of the first round will be played on Sunday, with J1 sides Jubilo Iwata and Avispa Fukuoka set to start their campaigns.