Cerezo, Tokyo gain upper hand in J. League Cup playoffs

Cerezo Osaka and FC Tokyo each took a step toward the last eight of the J. League Cup on Wednesday after winning the first leg of the group stage playoffs.

Cerezo, who finished second in the seven-team Group B, secured a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Ricardo Santos and Takaki Fukumitsu against Consadole Sapporo, who came third in Group A.

FC Tokyo, second in Group A, hung on to their lead from Takuma Abe’s goal on the stroke of halftime for a 1-0 win at Sanfrecce Hiroshima, who were third in Group B.

The winners after the second leg on July 26 will join group winners Vegalta Sendai and Vissel Kobe, as well as four Asian Champions League participants; Urawa Reds, Kawasaki Frontale, Kashima Antlers and Gamba Osaka, in the quarterfinals.

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