The semifinals of the 2017 J1 Promotion Playoff took place on Sunday, with top-seeded Nagoya Grampus and Avispa Fukuoka advancing to next weekend’s final.
Facing JEF United Chiba at home, Grampus surrendered the opening goal to Argentine striker Larrivey shortly before halftime.
But Taishi Taguchi was there to equalise in the 61st minute, with Robin Simovic making it 2-1 for the hosts just five minutes later.
The Swede went on to score again in the 86th minute, and while JEF managed to make it 3-2 when Larrivey netted his second of the day it was Simovic who would complete the hat-trick with a penalty kick in stoppage time to give Grampus a 4-2 win.
At Egao Kenko Stadium it was Avispa Fukuoka who took the lead against Tokyo Verdy through veteran Koji Yamase’s 14th-minute opener.
As Verdy pressed their attack through several attacking substitutions, the Kyushu side held strong to protect their narrow lead and came out on top after 90 minutes.
The final between Nagoya Grampus and Avispa Fukuoka will be held on December 3 at Toyota Stadium, with the winner joining Shonan Bellmare and V-Varen Nagasaki in next year’s J1 League.