The final round of the 2016 Yamazaki Nabisco Cup Group Stage took place on Sunday, with six Group B clubs starting the day still eligible to reach the quarterfinals.
Yokohama F. Marinos left nothing to chance, with Shunsuke Nakamura and Manabu Saito both scoring in a 2-0 win at Vegalta Sendai to ensure a first place finish in the group.
Kashiwa Reysol’s hopes were extinguished with a 1-1 draw at Sagan Tosu, as they could not find a game-winner after Ederson’s 79th-minute equaliser neutralised Kei Ikeda’s 31st-minute goal.
The miracle of the day took place at Level 5 Stadium, where Avispa Fukuoka recorded a stunning 4-2 win over Albirex Niigata to reach the Knockout Stage for the first time in club history.
In Group A, Vissel Kobe and Omiya Ardija, who were already assured of advancement to the Knockout Stage, won their respective matches against Shonan Bellmare and Kashima Antlers.
The four Group Stage survivors will join AFC Champions League participants Urawa Reds, FC Tokyo, Gamba Osaka, and Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the quarterfinals, which will take place on August 31 and September 4.