Cristiano single-handedly fired Kashiwa Reysol to the Emperor’s Cup semi-finals on Saturday, netting a hat-trick against Vegalta Sendai in a match that finished 3-3 after extra time before the visitors won on penalties.
The Brazilian forward opened the scoring after 11 minutes - after which Wilson netted the equaliser for Vegalta - and then put his side back in the lead with a goal after half-time.
The hosts once again pegged Reysol back, Hiroshi Futami getting on the scoresheet next, leaving nothing to separate the sides at the end of 90 minutes, thus forcing extra time.
Wilson then immediately netted his second as Vegalta found themselves in the lead for the first time on the afternoon, but it was that man Cristiano again who popped up to force the score to 3-3 with four minutes left on the clock.
Going into the penalty shoot-out, Reysol comfortably dispatched all five of their free-kicks as they set up a semi-final clash against Urawa Reds.
Mihailo Petrovic’s men comfortably dispatched Vissel Kobe 3-0 in the other match of the day, with the tie over as a contest by the end of the first half.
Shinzo Koroki and Tadanari Lee both struck in quick succession to secure the J.League championship semi-finalists a deserved lead, before Tomoya Ugajin rounded off a comprehensive victory with his goal right before the break.
Both Reysol and the Reds are due to meet at Ajinomoto Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.