Sanfrecce Hiroshima started off the J.League YBC Levain Cup quarter-finals off right, scoring twice in the last 20 minutes to beat Yokohama F·Marinos, 3-1, at Edion Stadium Hiroshima and take a two-goal lead into the second leg against the top team in J1.
Yoshifumi Kashiwa gave Sanfrecce an early lead with a composed first touch and fierce volley, before Léo Ceará equalized just after halftime at the edge of the six-yard box.
It looked like Marinos may be able to get out of the trip to Hiroshima on equal terms, but the Viola came on strong late. Hayato Araki scored in the 71st minute with an expertly-guided glancing header and Gakuto Notsuda's left-footed strike from distance finished off the outstanding result deep into stoppage time.
Elsewhere, Avispa Fukuoka went into Kobe and walked away with a 2-1 advantage in their tie against Vissel. John Mary and Lukian scored in phenomenal fashion for the visitors, but Yuya Osako did find the net nine minutes into stoppage time to keep the Ushi within striking distance going into the second leg.
Urawa Reds were able to pick up a good result of their own, drawing the holders Nagoya Grampus at Toyota Stadium. Urawa played Grampus level, 1-1, and now get to return to Saitama for the second 90 minutes only needing a win in front of their home crowd to advance.
Kawasaki Frontale wrapped up the quarter-final first legs with an away draw of their own, riding a Yasuto Wakizaka goal to a 1-1 result against Cerezo Osaka. Australian striker Adam Taggart got the Sakura back level with a composed finish in the 89th minute to give the home side belief heading into the second leg in Kawasaki.
The second legs will be played on August 10, with the winners setting off for the final four.