The 2020 J.League Levain Cup kicked off on February 16, as 8 games took place in Match-day 1 of the Group Stage.
Title holder Kawasaki Frontale crushed Shimizu S-Pulse at home. After Leandro Damião scored the first goal in the 10th minute, Tatsuya Hasegawa extended the lead in the 23rd. Shimizu managed to get back to 2-1 in the 67th minute, but Hasegawa added another goal in the 74th minute and Yu Hasegawa scored a late brace to complete a 5-1 win for the home side. In the same group, Nagoya Grampus beat Kashima Antlers 1-0, thanks to the sole goal scored by Mateus.
Urawa Reds took a three-goal lead in the first half against Vegalta Sendai at Saitama Stadium. Although they conceded two back before halftime, Kenyu Sugimoto and Martinus each added one each in the second half to open Reds’ 2020 campaign with a big 5-2 win. Meanwhile, Cerezo Osaka defeated Matsumoto Yamaga 4-1 at home despite the away side taking the lead in the 5th minute. Bruno Mendes netted a brace to help the comeback.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima picked up three points away from home as they beat Yokohama FC 2-0, thanks to an impressive performance by their foreign players. Douglas Vieira scored in the 25th minute and Leandro Pereira in the 47th. Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo had a comfortable 3-0 win against Sagan Tosu with Jay Bothroyd, Akito Fukumori and Musashi Suzuki on the scoresheet.
Tsukasa Umesaki scored the winner in the 93rd minute, as Shonan Bellmare defeated Oita Trinita 1-0 in a dramatic fashion. Kashiwa Reysol also claimed a 1-0 victory over Gamba Osaka by defending the lead after Olunga’s 24th-minute goal.