The first leg of the 2017 J.League YBC Levain Cup semi-finals took place on Wednesday evening, with all four teams still in contention for the early November final at Saitama Stadium.
A wild back-and-forth at Yanmar Stadium Nagai concluded in a 2-2 Osaka Derby draw between Cerezo Osaka and Gamba Osaka.
2015 Levin Cup New Hero Award winner Shuhei Akasaki opened scoring for the visitors in the 16th minute but Cerezo struck back in the 23rd through Ricardo Santos with a fantastic lob.
The hosts went on to take the lead in the 81st minute via Yasuki Kimoto’s great header, but Gamba earned a key second away goal just five minutes later courtesy of Haruya Ide.
Meanwhile at Yurtec Stadium, Vegalta Sendai jumped to a 3-0 halftime lead over Kawasaki Frontale as Naoki Ishihara scored the 24th-minute opener and Crislan contributed a double in the 33rd and 45th minutes.
But Frontale fought back in the second half, with Tatsuki Nara and Kei Chinen scoring late in the match to secure what could be two crucial away goals heading into Sunday’s return leg at Todoroki Stadium.
The second leg will take place on Sunday, October 8.