Sagan Tosu’s hopes of reaching the J.League Cup quarter-finals took a blow on Saturday after crashing to a 5-1 defeat at Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Hosts Sanfrecce are unable to progress to the quarter-final stage from Group A, but their pride was at stake in the match and they went into the break 1-0 ahead.
Koji Morisaki’s deflected free-kick in first-half stoppage time opened the scoring and Sanfrecce doubled their advantage ten minutes after the interval courtesy of a Hisato Sato penalty.
The visitors pulled a goal back through midfielder Kota Mizunuma on 63 minutes but two goals in the space of four minutes from Naoki Ishihara reaffirmed Sanfrecce’s control of proceedings.
And in the final minute of play, Morisaki completed his brace and sealed a 5-1 victory for Hajime Moriyasu’s men.
The defeat leaves Sagan’s quarter-final aspirations hanging by a thread with one match remaining and the top two teams qualifying.
Sagan face second-placed Cerezo Osaka in their final match knowing victory and a defeat for Vegalta Sendai against Jubilo Iwata will be enough to advance.
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