Six Meiji Yasuda J1 League clubs are going to the quarter-finals of the Emperor’s Cup, but they will be joined by at least one second division side - Ventforet Kofu. They defeated Sagan Tosu, 3-1, in the Round of 16 to advance in the competition and move three wins away from the title.
Ventforet struck twice in the first half through Bruno Paraíba. The Brazilian scored in the 33rd minute to give his side the lead in Tosu, then hit again four minutes later to double the visitors’ advantage.
Sagan pulled a goal back in the 75th minute through Taisei Miyashiro, but Nagi Matsumoto answered only a minute later to restore the two-goal advantage that Ventforet would take to the final whistle in a famous night for the club.
There were three other J2 sides in action, but they all fell. Kyoto Sanga beat Tochigi SC with a stoppage time goal from Origbaajo Ismalia in a thriller, while Sanfecce Hiroshima outlasted Gunma, 1-0, and Avispa Fukuoka dispatched V-Varen Nagasaki, 2-0.
Elsewhere, Kashima Antlers beat Gamba Osaka, 2-0, booking their spot in the quarter-finals as the highest-placed team remaining in the competition.
Vissel Kobe carried over their excellent league form to beat Kashiwa Reysol, 2-1, and Cerezo Osaka used an 88th minute winner by Hirotaka Tameda to take their spot in the final eight.
One more Round of 16 tie is still to be played, with Tokyo Verdy hosting Júbilo Iwata next Wednesday.
The seven teams who won on Wednesday, along with the winner of next week’s final Round of 16 tie, will play square off in the Emperor’s Cup quarter-finals on September 7.