Perfect Marinos, Nagoya take step towards advancement in J.League YBC Levain Cup

Perfect Marinos, Nagoya take step towards advancement in J.League YBC Levain Cup

Matchday 4 of the J.League YBC Levain Cup group stage was no different than the first three for Yokohama F·Marinos and Nagoya Grampus - they won.

The competition’s last two remaining perfect teams kept their runs going and clinched at least second place in their groups, along with one more team.

Let’s dive into all the Matchday 4 action:

Group A

Yan Matheus scored just seven minutes after kickoff and that’s all Yokohama F·Marinos needed to beat Júbilo Iwata, 1-0. The win put the Tricolor on 12 points and they are assured of at least second place in the group, while Júbilo are still without a point and have been mathematically eliminated.

Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo picked up a big win in their bid to advance, defeating Sagan Tosu, 4-1. Supachok Sarachat’s brace led the way for Consa, who are now three points clear of Sagan for second place in Group A.

Group B

Group B remains the most unpredictable group in the competition with all four teams separated by only two points after four matchdays.

Naoki Yamada found the back of the net three minutes into Shonan Bellmare’s contest with Urawa Reds, but 17-year-old Jumpei Hayakawa answered for the home side to split the points. Meanwhile, Kawasaki Frontale romped over Shimizu S-Pulse with two goals before halftime and four after, led by Yasuto Wakizawa’s brace, in a 6-0 victory.

With two matchdays to play, Bellmare top Group B on six points with Frontale a point back on five, and Urawa and S-Pulse on four points.

Group C

Nagoya Grampus remained perfect and top of Group C with another win on Wednesday. Ryoga Kida scored on each side of halftime to lead them past Yokohama FC, putting them on 12 points and assuring Nagoya of a top two finish in the group.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima left things late, but Sho Sasaki and Shuto Nakano scored in the last 20 minutes to bring the Viola from behind and defeat Vissel Kobe, 2-1. The win put Sanfrecce on nine points and clinched a top two finish in Group C, while Vissel and Yokohama have been eliminated from the competition.

Group D

Avispa Fukuoka took over first place in Group D with a dramatic victory over Kashima Antlers. Wellington found the back of the net three minutes into stoppage time, delivering Avi a 2-1 win that pushed them to seven points.

In the other Group D contest, Kashiwa Reysol and Albirex Niigata went back and forth. Yuki Muto gave Reysol an early lead, only for Eitaro Matsuda and Kaito Taniguchi to score a pair and put Albi in front. Reysol were not to be denied, though, getting goals from Mao Hosoya and Kota Yamada to overturn their deficit and win, 3-2.

Despite their loss, Albi are still second place in the group, one point back of Avi on six points. Reysol are still in the mix with five points, while Kashima are also within striking distance on four points.

Group E

Gamba Osaka and F.C.Tokyo looked destined for a scoreless draw, but a 71st minute red card to Rihito Yamamoto and 74th minute goal by Koki Tsukagawa turned the match for the capital club and earned them a win. Still, Gamba lead the group on seven points, but FCT are now right on their heels with six points.

Elsewhere in Group E, Kyoto Sanga scored early and late to beat Cerezo Osaka, 2-0. Sanga are now up to six points and behind F.C.Tokyo for second place only on the head-to-head tiebreaker, while Cerezo still have the chance to advance with four points.