The stage is set for the Playoff Stage of the 2018 J.League YBC Levain Cup following the sixth and final Group Stage round on Wednesday night.
Vegalta Sendai topped Group A after defending an own goal to secure a 1-0 victory at FC Tokyo, reaching 11 points in the process. Yokohama F. Marinos will join them after Takahiro Ogihara scored on a free kick to complete a 2-1 comeback win against Albirex Niigata.
In Group B, Jubilo Iwata secured advancement with a 1-0 win over Ventforet Kofu, who had already clinched a spot in the next phase. That result left Shimizu S-Pulse feeling blue despite a 3-0 win at Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo.
Uarwa Reds finished on top of Group C thanks to Lee Tadanari’s 76th-minute goal against his former club Sanfrecce Hiroshima, handing Oswaldo Oliveira’s side a 1-0 win. They will be joined by Gamba Osaka, who progressed despite a 4-1 loss to Nagoya Grampus.
With one spot remaining in Group D after Vissel Kobe clinched last week, it was Shonan Bellmare who came out on top with a 2-0 win over V-Varen Nagasaki. At Noevir Stadium, Vissel and Sagan Tosu fought to a 1-1 draw.
The Playoff Stage will take place on June 2 and 9, with the winners joining ACL representatives Kawasaki Frontale, Kashima Antlers, Cerezo Osaka, and Kashiwa Reysol in the Knockout Stage.
Playoff Stage Pairings:
Shonan Bellmare vs. Vegalta Sendai
Gamba Osaka vs. Jubilo Iwata
Ventforet Kofu vs. Urawa Reds
Yokohama F. Marinos vs. Vissel Kobe