Jo fires Nagoya Grampus to Sanfrecce victory

Jo fires Nagoya Grampus to Sanfrecce victory

The fourth round of the 2018 J.League YBC Levain Cup Group Stage took place on Wednesday night as 16 participating clubs continued to vie for a place in the Knockout Stage.

In Group A, FC Tokyo netted two goals in the first half at Ajinomoto Stadium but Yokohama F. Marinos responded in the second half as Sho Ito scored twice to finish the match in a 2-2 draw. The other match featured a Tatsuya Tanaka brace as Albirex Niigata won 3-1 against Vegalta Sendai, earning their first victory of the competition.

Vying for first place in a chaotic Group B, Shimizu S-Pulse took an early lead against Ventforet Kofu through Kazuya Murata’s first minute goal. Ventforet drew even through an own goal in the 50th minute, with the match ending in a 1-1 draw. At Yamaha Stadium, Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo won 3-2 against Jubilo Iwata thanks to a 90th-minute game-winner by Takumi Miyayoshi, invigorating their knockout stage hopes.

Group C leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima suffered their first loss of the tournament at Nagoya Grampus, falling 1-2 after Brazilian ace Jo scored in the 78th minute to complete the hosts’ second half comeback. The encounter between Gamba Osaka and Urawa Reds was decided by Kosuke Taketomi’s goal which gave Reds a 1-0 win and sent them to the top of the group on tiebreakers.

High school graduate Yuta Goke’s striker propelled Vissel Kobe to a 2-1 win over V-Varen Nagasaki in Group D, extending their total to 10 points. Meanwhile, the match between Sagan Tosu and Shonan Bellmare ended in a scoreless draw.