The first leg of the 2018 J.League YBC Levain Cup Playoff Stage took place this weekend, with four matches taking place on Saturday as eight clubs vied to join Japan’s AFC Champions League representatives in the quarterfinals.
At Mitsuzawa Stadium, Yokohama F. Marinos came out on top of Vissel Kobe in a 4-2 win which featured three lead changes. Wellington scored early for the visitors but his effort was stopped by Yuki Otsu in the 23rd minute before Yeruhito Nakagawa put F. Marinos ahead shortly after.
Kazuma Watanabe made it 2-2 in the 55th minute, but goals by Jun Amano and Hugo Viera later in the second half gave the hosts a key win ahead of next weekend’s return leg at Noevir.
Ventforet Kofu, the only J2 League side remaining in the tournament, notched a 2-0 victory over Urawa Reds through goals by Kazuki Kozuka and Yuta Imazu.
At Panasonic Stadium Suita, a seventh-minute Hwang Ui-jo goal was enough for Gamba Osaka to sneak past Jubilo Iwata.
Meanwhile, Tsukasa Umesaki netted twice in the 15th and 71th minutes, with Takuya Okamoto scoring in stoppages to see Shonan Bellmare end the day with a 3-0 win over visiting Vegalta Sendai.
The second leg will take place on Saturday, June 9.