Gamba, Cerezo & Frontale reach Levain Cup semis

Gamba, Cerezo & Frontale reach Levain Cup semis

The second leg of the J.League YBC Levain Cup quarter-finals took place on Sunday, with four teams booking their place in next month’s semi-final round as Kashima Antlers bowed out.

Vegalta Sendai, who arrived at Kashima Stadium with a 3-1 advantage over Antlers, jumped to a 2-0 lead after goals by Hirotaka Mita and Takuma Nishimura. 

Antlers fought back in the second half with a pair of Yuma Suzuki goals and an additional strike by Hiroki Abe, earning a 3-2 win but watching as their opponents advanced with a 5-4 aggregate victory.

At Saitama Stadium with all to play for after Wednesday’s 0-0 draw, Matej Jonjic and Yusuke Maruhashi scored to give Cerezo Osaka a first-half lead over Urawa Reds. 

Yuki Muto and Shinzo Koroki found the back of the net for the hosts in the second half, but a 2-2 draw was not enough for the Reds to continue toward the November final at their home ground as Cerezo advanced on away goals.

Vissel Kobe found little joy against Gamba Osaka at Suita Stadium, with Shun Nagasawa and Jin Izumisawa scoring to clinch a 2-0 aggregate win and send last year’s runners-up toward what will be an exciting Osaka Derby semi-final clash.

After losing the first leg of their Tamagawa Clasico series at Todoroki Stadium by a 2-0 result, FC Tokyo hoped for a spectacular comeback at Ajinomoto Stadium. 

That was not to be the case, with Hiroyuki Abe netting a hat-trick and Elsinho scoring a brace as Kawaski Frontale romped to a 5-1 win on the evening and a 7-1 aggregate victory.

The semi-finals will take place on October 4 and 8, with the final scheduled on November 4 at Saitama Stadium.