The 2022 J.League YBC Levain Cup returned to action on Wednesday with the champions in play, as well as a tasty Osaka Derby. How did it all turn out?
Gamba Osaka 2, Cerezo Osaka 3
Cerezo scored early and late to take this Osaka Derby. Hirotaka Tameda scored just eight minutes in to put the Sakura in front and Satoki Uejo added just before halftime to double the advantage, but Gamba answered through Yuki Yamamoto and Ko Yanagisawa after the break. The match looking set for a draw, but then Hikaru Nakahara scored an 84th minute winner to deliver the Sakura all three points and the top spot in Group A.
Oita Trinita, Kashima Antlers
Nagoya Grampus 0, Shimizu S-Pulse 0
Nagoya won the cup a year ago and put in a terrific showing in their league opener over the weekend, but they were unable to carry that form into Wednesday’s club as S-Pulse were able to frustrate them with some excellent defending. As a result S-Pulse went home with a well-earned point and Nagoya had to settle for one of their own in Group B play.
Tokushima Vortis 0, Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3
Sanfrecce put on a show to take first place in Group B. Jelani Reshaun Sumiyoshi and Ryo Nagai scored nine minutes apart in the first half to put the visitors up big, then Shunki Higashi scored on the other side of halftime to wrap up a dominating away win for Sanfrecce.
Sagan Tosu 2, Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 2
It took just two minutes for Sagan to go in front thanks to a Consa own goal, but the visitors bounced back through Shunta Tanaka and Takuro Kaneko. Consa were unable to hold onto their lead, though, as Yuta Fuihara struck in the 72nd minute to level the match at 2-2 and ensure both teams would walk away with something to show for a scintillating 90 minutes in Group C action.
Kyoto Sanga 1, Kashiwa Reysol 1
Things could not have started better for Sanga, who scored after just six minutes thanks to Yudai Kimura, but Reysol were not flustered. They continued to play their game and gave themselves chances to get even, which they did right after halftime thanks to Hidetaka Maie. The 1-1 draw ensured all four teams in Group C would be level on a point apiece.
Shonan Bellmare 3, Avispa Fukuoka 1
Shonan controlled this match from the start, scoring in the 14th minute through Naoki Yamada. Daiki Sugioka then doubled the Shonan advantage in first half stoppage time. A 79th minute tally by Hisashi Jogo gave Avispa hope, but Yuki Ohashi answered with a goal of his own to wrap up the win and put Shonan first in Group D.
F.C.Tokyo, Júbilo Iwata