The fifth round of the J.League Yamazaki Nabisco Cup group stages took place on Wednesday night, with six matches played across groups A and B.
Yoshinori Muto scored twice as Group A leaders FC Tokyo earned a dramatic 2-1 win over Ventforet Kofu, moving them up to 10 points and undefeated in all four matches.
Shonan Bellmare rose to second in the group with their 2-1 win over Matsumoto Yamaga meanwhile, with Sagan Tosu slid into third despite besting Sanfrecce Hiroshima by a 1-0 result.
In Group B, Nagoya Grampus earned a tough 2-1 away win at Shimizu S-Pulse thanks to goals by Tomoya Koyamatsu after the hour mark and Milivoje Novakovic four minutes from full time.
Grampus’ 13 points to date guarantees a finish of second place or higher, ensuring their advancement to the knockout stage.
Elsewhere in Group B, Kazuma Watanabe’s two goals kept Vissel Kobe in second place after a 3-2 win at Yokohama F. Marinos.
Their three-point lead over third-placed Montedio Yamagata, who drew 1-1 with Kawasaki Frontale, will be a big advantage as they look to advance to the quarter-finals.