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Sunday, July 18, 2004

NABISCO CUP

Verdy routs Marinos to make quarterfinals

Tokyo Verdy, FC Tokyo and Nagoya Grampus Eight booked their places in the quarterfinals of the J. League Nabisco Cup after adding points in their first-round campaigns Saturday night.

In a Group A clash, Verdy beat J. League first-stage winner Yokohama F. Marinos 3-0 at home on goals from Yoshiyuki Kobayashi, Atsushi Yoneyama and Daigo Kobayashi, as the home side was guaranteed top spot in the first-round group on 13 points from five matches.

FC Tokyo also advanced to the last eight after a 2-1 away win over Vissel Kobe, thanks to a second-half winner from Brazilian striker Lucas. An early strike from Ryoichi Kurisawa was canceled out by Kobe's Brazilian defender Roger before halftime in the Group D match.

Nagoya wasted a two-goal advantage to draw 2-2 with Gamba Osaka at home in a Group B match, which saw Brazilian forward Marques find the net twice after the half hour, only to allow Gamba to come back through Fernandinho and Mitsuteru Watanabe.

Elsewhere, second-half goals from Hiroto Mori and Kohei Morita gave Sanfrecce Hiroshima a 2-0 away win over last-place Cerezo Osaka in Group A. Hiroshima is level with F. Marinos on seven points.

Albirex Niigata drew 1-1 with Jubilo Iwata on a late equalizer from Shingo Suzuki at Niigata Stadium and remains second in Group B on six points, one point ahead of Gamba and Iwata.

Kashiwa Reysol and Kashima Antlers played to a scoreless draw in Kashiwa, leaving Antlers five points adrift of FC Tokyo and two points ahead of Reysol.

Three teams are level on nine points in Group C after Urawa Reds edged JEF United Ichihara 2-1 on an injury-time winner from Masayuki Okano and Shimizu S-Pulse beat Oita Trinia 1-0 courtesy of a Ryuzo Morioka free-kick. Oita, which has three points, was eliminated.

The group stage features 16 first-division teams playing home and away matches in four groups with the top two teams from each group advancing to the quarterfinals.



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