Football: J2 Roasso knock J1 title chasers Vissel from Emperor's Cup

Struggling second-division side Roasso Kumamoto proved to be a match for Vissel Kobe, knocking the J-League first-division title chasers out of the Emperor's Cup Wednesday on penalties after they drew their quarterfinal match 1-1.

Roasso keeper Ryuga Tashiro made a big save in the dying seconds of extra time, and then brought the home crowd to its feet by making one save in the penalty shootout and scoring once on his own as relegation-threatened Kumamoto advanced 4-3 on penalties.

The better team for most of the game on a rainy night at Kumamoto's Egao Kenko Stadium, Roasso nearly took the lead in the opening minutes in a preview of the aggressive defense and audacious attacking that kept Vissel on the back foot for much of the game.

With his defenders unable to cope with Roasso's ability to maintain possession in the attacking third, only big saves from Vissel keeper Daiya Maekawa, and a few near misses from the hosts, kept Kumamoto off the scoreboard until Rei Hirakawa scored the opener on the hour.

Vissel were better in the second half but needed a slight misjudgment from Tashiro to score the equalizer. The keeper came out to get a high ball but collided in mid-air with Jean Patric and was forced backward before the Brazilian forward knocked the ball past a defender and into the net three minutes from regulation.

Roasso are the only J2 team left in the competition. In Wednesday's three other quarterfinals between J1 teams, Kawasaki Frontale also advanced on penalties, 4-3 after a 2-2 draw at Albirex Niigata, Avispa Fukuoka earned a 3-1 home win over Shonan Bellmare, and Kashiwa Reysol knocked out Nagoya Grampus 2-0 at home.

© Kyodo News