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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Frontale moves to Nabisco Cup QFs

KAWASAKI (Kyodo) Kawasaki Frontale joined Urawa Reds in the quarterfinals of the Nabisco Cup after Kengo Nakamura's late strike gave the J. League leader a 1-0 win over Oita Trinita on Wednesday.

News photo
Alex Mineiro of Kashima Antlers shoots past Kyodo Purple Sanga defender Ricard during their Nabisco Cup match on Tuesday.

Nakamura swept home a pass from Marcus in second-half stoppage time at Todoroki Stadium to move the home side to 12 points from five games in Group B, while Kashima Antlers were stunned 2-1 by 10-man Kyoto Purple Sanga and trail Kawasaki by three points.

Group A leaders Urawa Reds, who had already secured a place in the last eight, were held to a 0-0 draw away to FC Tokyo. Yokohama F. Marinos stayed in second place after a late own goal gave them a 1-1 draw away to Avispa Fukuoka.

In Group C, Marquinhos' long-range effort in the 83rd minute earned Shimizu S-Pulse a 1-0 win away to struggling Sanfrecce Hiroshima to put it within one point of leader and defending champion JEF United Chiba.

JEF, which has nine points from four games, visits Albirex Niigata on Thursday, when Jubilo Iwata hosts Ventforet Kofu in Group D.

A late goal from Akinori Nishizawa kept Cerezo Osaka top of Group D after a 1-1 draw away to Omiya Ardija. Cerezo had Tomi Shimomura sent off midway through the second half.

The top team from each of the four groups advances to the quarterfinals along with three teams with the best runnerup records and last year's beaten finalist Gamba Osaka.

Gamba received a bye into the last eight due to its involvement in the Asian Champions League.

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