Thursday, Aug. 14, 2003
Defending champion Kashima Antlers took a major stride toward defending their Nabisco Cup title with a 5-1 thrashing of Nagoya Grampus Eight in the first leg of quarterfinal matches on Wednesday night.
Japan midfielder Koji Nakata grabbed a brace inside 11 second-half minutes as his side all but guaranteed a meeting with either newly crowned J. League first-stage winner Yokohama F. Marinos or archrival Jubilo Iwata in the semifinals.
Kashima and Shimizu S-Pulse received byes into the last eight due to their brief involvement in the Asian Champions League.
A 20th-minute goal from Yasumasa Nishino gave 10-man Iwata a slight advantage heading into the second leg Aug. 24 as Masaaki Yanagishita's men ran out 1-0 winners at International Stadium Yokohama. Iwata had Aleksander Zivkovic sent off after just 18 minutes.
Elsewhere, Toru Chishima came off the bench to snatch a last-minute equalizer as the Urawa Reds drew 2-2 at home to FC Tokyo, while South Korean star Ahn Jung Hwan found the target as Shimizu was held to a 1-1 draw at home to Gamba Osaka.