A full Matchday 4 in the J.League YBC Levain Cup has brought clarity to some groups.
Cerezo Osaka 1, Kashima Antlers 3
Kashima moved within two points of Cerezo in Group A with a dominant performance. Arthur Caike, Ayase Ueda and Wellington each scored to make the race for first place a real battle heading into the last two matchweeks.
Gamba Osaka 2, Oita Trinita 0
Gamba kept their hopes of advancing in the competition alive with goals on either side of halftime. They are five points back of Cerezo in first and just three behind Kashima.
Nagoya Grampus 1, Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2
Sanfrecce maintained control of Group B with a win in Nagoya. Mateus put Grampus in front early, but Júnior Santos answered just after halftime. Then, Kazuya Miyahara was shown a red card in the 56th minute, which tilted the match Sanfrecce’s way. Tsukasa Morishima scored a late winner and Sanfrecce went four points clear atop the group.
Tokushima Vortis 4, Shimizu S-Pulse 1
Koki Sugimori scored two as Vortis picked up their first win of the competition. They jumped out to a 4-0 lead before S-Pulse scored in the final minute to avoid the shutout, but that was not enough for the visitors to keep pace with Sanfrecce in the Group B table.
Kyoto Sanga 3, Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 2
Sanga took over the top spot in Group C with a sensational come-from-behind victory live for global J.League fans on YouTube. Consadole, who entered the day top of the group, scored twice in the first 20 minutes to take control, but Sanga came firing back. Shimpei Fukuoka brought Sanga within one in the 24th minute, then Keita Nakano and Quenten Martinus scored four minutes apart to complete the comeback. Sanga are now on seven points in Group C, with Consa three back.
Sagan Tosu 1, Kashiwa Reysol 3
Kashiwa jumped out to an early lead in Tosu thanks to Fumiya Unoki and Yugo Masukake. Fuchi Honda pulled one back for Sagan, but Rodrigo extended the Reysol lead once more as the visitors took over second place in Group C with five points.
Shonan Bellmare 2, F.C.Tokyo 1
Shonan stayed on top of Group D with a gutsy performance in Hiratsuka. Masaki Ikeda gave Shonan a lead, only for FCT to equalize. The capital club kept pushing and could have taken this match, but Shonan battled and got a 73rd-minute penalty kick from Shuto Machino to eke out a win that kept them in first place with nine points. Tokyo are behind on four points.
Avispa Fukuoka 2, Júbilo Iwata 1
Júbilo went ahead through Masaya Matsumoto, but Lukian scored against his former club to equalize before Takuya Shigehiro won it in the 86th minute for Avispa. The win pushed Fukuoka to second place in Group D on six points, while Júbilo are bottom of the group on four.