FC Tokyo bounced back from a disappointing weekend to defeat Sagan Tosu 2-0 in the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup and go top of Group A.
Despite starting without Yuto Muto on Wednesday, the capital side looked comfortable and were able to win via two goals from Hirotaka Mita either side of half time.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima, who beat Tokyo in the league at the weekend, kept up the pace in Group A with an impressive 4-2 win away at Matsumoto Yamaga.
Keita Goto did put the hosts in the lead after just four minutes, but the league relegation candidates would soon have no answer to Sanfrecce’s blitz.
Sho Sakai struck before Gakuto Notsuda bagged a brace in a devastating 15-minute spell, Takuma Asano later making the result safe following the break after Yamaga had pulled one back.
Struggling Ventforet Kofu meanwhile roared into a two-goal lead against Albirex Niigata only to be pegged back, with the resulting 2-2 score keeping the hosts mired at the bottom of Group A.
In Group B, Nagoya Grampus continued their surge in the cup with a 1-0 win over Yokohama F.Marinos, making themselves the favourites to progress to the quarter-finals.
Marcus Tanaka blasted in what proved the winner from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time for Grampus’ to move up to 10 points and extend their lead over Vissel Kobe.
Indeed, Vissel were only able to play out a poor 0-0 draw against Kawasaki Frontale, meaning their lead in second place over others in Group B remains slender.
Shimizu S-Pulse were able to do their counterparts a favour though, as they beat Vegalta Sendai 2-1 to clinch their first victory after eight games without one in all competitions.
Takashi Sawada hit a 77th minute winner after Genki Omae’s opener had been cancelled out by Hidetaka Kanazono earlier, leaving the bottom side with still a slim chance to progress.