Sanfrecce set up Emperor’s Cup semi-final against Gamba

Sanfrecce set up Emperor’s Cup semi-final against Gamba

FC Tokyo’s meltdown against Sanfrecce Hiroshima saw them finish with nine men in Saturday’s Emperor’s Cup quarter-final and allowed the Japanese champions to edge them 2-1.

Despite enjoying the majority of shots, Hajime Moriyasu’s side found themselves a goal down in the 37th minute following Keigo Higashi’s opener.

But the capital club’s hero soon turned villain when he was shown his marching orders in the second half.

Even then, it took till the 85th minute for Takuma Asano - on for the ineffective Yusuke Minagawa - to find the equaliser that would force the tie to extra time.

Now a man up, Sanfrecce went in for the kill and Asano bagged his second of the night in the first added half.

But Tokyo were not truly out until captain Masato Morishige, who recently extended his contract to stay at Ajinomoto Stadium, picked up his second booking and ending all hope of a comeback.

Sanfrecce will therefore face Gamba Osaka at the semi-final hurdle, with the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League runners-up through after beating Sagan Tosu 3-1.

Takashi Usami opened the scoring for the hosts before Ryota Hayasaka nabbed the temporary equaliser.

But there was no denying Usami, who netted his second in the 79th minute before Shun Nagasawa made the result safe just a minute later.

Gamba will be out for revenge on Tuesday against Sanfrecce, who pipped them to this season’s league crown with a victory at the post-season title championship final.