East Asia Japan

Marinos Smother Sanfrecce in Saturday’s J.League Cup Action

Yokohama F. Marinos kept their perfect start to the 2021 J.League Cup after smashing five goals past Sanfrecce Hiroshima with no replies on Saturday’s Matchweek 2 action at the Nissan Stadium. The emphatic 5-0 win meant that Yokohama have won both of their two J.League Cup matches so far, which would serve as a good platform for Ange Postecoglou’s men should they wish to get out of Group D.

Nigerian-Japanese striker Ado Onaiwu and 2019 J.League 1 MVP Teruhito Nakagawa were the stars of the match, with the two players scoring a brace each past a hapless Takuto Hayashi in the Sanfrecce goal. Former Oita Trinita defender Tomoki Iwata also joined in the fun with a goal of his own.

The huge win cemented Yokohama’s position as Group D leaders with six points out of six, while Shimizu S-Pulse occupy 2nd place thanks to a 1-0 win away at Vegalta Sendai. Sanfrecce sat third while Vegalta, who had lost both of their two J.League Cup matches so far, prop up the Group D table.

There were also huge wins for Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo and Kashima Antlers over their opponents from the island of Kyushu. Traveling to the Ekimae Real Estate Stadium to take on Sagan Tosu, Consadole ran out 5-1 winners in their Group A match, with the Northerners being aided significantly by two early own-goals from Keita Yamashita and Daisuke Matsumoto. Going up the Kagoshima Main Line to the Best Denki Stadium in Fukuoka, Kashima also prevailed in their Group A encounter against Avispa, with the Antlers also notching up a 5-1 win. Ayase Ueda scored a brace for Antonio Carlos Zago’s men while there were also goals for Ryotaro Araki, Everaldo, and Rikuto Hirose.

The Kyushu demolition jobs meant that both Kashima and Consadole share top spot in Group A, both teams having won both of their games so far, however Kashima were given pole position thanks to a superior goal difference record.

Another Kyushu-based side, Oita Trinita, managed to avoid the tragic fate that their local rivals suffered on Saturday. Paying the Pocari Sweat Stadium a visit, Oita managed to condemn hosts Tokushima Vortis to last place in Group B after working out a 1-0 win, with Shun Nagasawa’s 5th minute goal proving to be the winner for the Turtles, their first victory in this year’s J.League Cup campaign.

Group B’s other Matchweek 2 game, an exciting clash between FC Tokyo and Vissel Kobe at the Ajinomoto Stadium, will be played this Sunday.

Rounding off Saturday’s J.League Cup action were the matches in Group C between Shonan Bellmare against Yokohama FC as well as Urawa Red Diamonds hosting Kashiwa Reysol. Shonan managed to take leadership of Group C thanks to a 1-0 home win over Yokohama FC, Ryo Nemoto with the only goal for the men in green-and-blue. Kashiwa, on the other hand, managed to stun Urawa at the Saitama Stadium 2002, with Cristiano ensuring a 1-0 win for the Chiba Prefecture-based side.