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Monday, Nov. 15, 2004

J. LEAGUE

Amateurs upset Cerezo in Emperor's Cup play

OSAKA (Kyodo) Amateur league side Thespa Kusatsu staged a smash-and-grab raid to stun relegation-haunted J. League first-division club Cerezo Osaka 2-1 away in the fourth round of the Emperor's Cup on Sunday.

Cerezo, last year's beaten finalist, dominated the match at Nagai Stadium but lacked a cutting edge in front of goal and had to wait until the 66th minute to break the deadlock through former Japan international Hiroaki Morishima.

But Thespa, which plays in the Japan Football League, silenced home fans when Marquinhos scrambled home an equalizer six minutes later after Cerezo had failed to clear its line.

Thespa then sealed a remarkable victory when Masami Sato prodded Jun Yoshimoto's misdirected shot past Cerezo 'keeper Tomohiko Ito 15 minutes from time to put his side into the fifth round.

Cerezo became the fourth side from Japan's top flight to suffer an early exit after Kashiwa Reysol, Shimizu S-Pulse and Albirex Niigata were all knocked out on Saturday. First-division teams join the knockout tournament from the fourth round.

In other matches Sunday, Nagoya Grampus Eight eased past JFL club Honda FC 3-0 while Oita Trinita defeated second-division Ventforet Kofu 2-1 and high-flying Urawa Reds swept aside Avispa Fukuoka 3-1 in an evening fixture at Hakato-no-Mori Stadium.



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