The quarter-finals of the 2017 Emperor’s Cup took place on Wednesday night, with Vissel Kobe, Cerezo Osaka, Yokohama F. Marinos and Kashiwa Reysol advancing to the semi-finals in December.
Trailing defending champions Kashima Antlers 0-1 at home, Vissel Kobe tied it up in the fourth minute of stoppage time thanks to a priceless goal by Mike Havenaar.
Thirty minutes of extra-time without a goal followed, and Vissel cleaned up 5-3 in penalty kicks to reach their first semi-final since 2000.
At Kincho Stadium, Cerezo Osaka made quick work of Omiya Ardija through goals by Takaki Fukumitsu and Ryuji Sawakami.
The Levain Cup finalists could potentially achieve a cup double after coming up short in the Emperor’s Cup in 2001 and 2003.
Yokohama F. Marinos, winners of the 2013 edition, needed an 81st-minute own goal to get past Jubilo Iwata at Mitsuzawa Stadium.
Meanwhile, it was Brazilian striker Cristiano who denied Kawasaki Frontale their shot at the treble, giving Kashiwa Reysol a 1-0 win at Todoroki Stadium.
The semi-final card sees Vissel Kobe paired with Cerezo Osaka in a Kansai Derby, while Yokohama F. Marinos will square off with Kashiwa Reysol. Both matches will take place on December 23, with venues to be announced at a later date.