2018 J.League Cup

Last updated
2018 J. League Cup
2018 JリーグYBCルヴァンカップ
CountryFlag of Japan.svg  Japan
Dates7 March – 27 October 2018
Champions Shonan Bellmare
Runners-up Yokohama F. Marinos
Matches played69
Top goal scorer(s) Sho Ito

The 2018 J.League Cup (2018 Jリーグカップ), or officially the 2018 J.League YBC Levain Cup (2018 JリーグYBCルヴァンカップ), is the 43rd edition of the Japanese football league cup tournament and the 26th edition under the current J. League Cup format.


The winners earned the right to play against the winners of the 2018 Copa Sudamericana in the 2019 J.League Cup / Copa Sudamericana Championship.



Teams that qualified for 2018 AFC Champions League group stage (3 or 4 teams) are given byes to the quarter-finals.
Group stage
The group stage is played by 16 teams, consisting of all other 2018 J1 League participants (14 or 15 teams) plus top 1 or 2 2018 J2 League participants based on the ranking of the previous season (i.e., 16th-placed team, and 17th-placed team if applicable, of 2017 J1 League).
Play-off stage
Play-off stage is played as four or five two-legged ties (number depending on the number of teams given byes to the quarter-finals so that eight teams play the quarter-finals).
  • If four teams are given byes to the quarter-finals, eight teams (top two teams of each group) advances to the play-off stage and composes four ties.
  • If three teams are given byes to the quarter-finals, ten teams (top two teams of each group, plus two best third-placed teams among four groups) advances to the play-off stage and composes five ties.

After the play-off stage where eight teams are active, quarterfinals (two-legged), semifinals (two-legged) and the final (single match) are played.

Group stage

Played between March 7 & May 16.



To determine the ranking of a group, teams with the same points are ranked by the following criteria:

  1. Points in the matches between the teams in question,
  2. Goal differences in the matches between the teams in question,
  3. Number of goals in the matches between the teams in question,
  4. Number of away goals in the matches between the teams in question.
  5. In case there are still two or more tied teams by the criteria above, re-apply them for only the tied teams. If the process does not classify teams anymore, see the following criteria.
  6. Goal differences in all group matches,
  7. Number of goals in all group matches,
  8. Penalty shoot-out (only if just two teams are tied, and they play the last group match)
  9. Fewer disciplinary points,
  10. Drawing of lots.

To determine the best third-placed teams (if needed), teams with the same points are ranked by the following criteria:

  1. Goal differences in all group matches,
  2. Number of goals in all group matches,
  3. Fewer disciplinary points,
  4. Drawing of lots.

Group A

1 Vegalta Sendai 6321106+4114–21–13–0
2 Yokohama F. Marinos 6321108+2110–02–11–0
3 Albirex Niigata 6213910173–11–33–2
4 FC Tokyo 6114510540–12–21–0

Group B

1 Júbilo Iwata 640297+2123–22–12–3
2 Ventforet Kofu 6312105+5100–11–03–0
3 Shimizu S-Pulse 631285+3101–01–12–1
4 Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 61054141030–10–30–3

Group C

1 Urawa Red Diamonds 641195+4131–41–02–0
2 Gamba Osaka 63031213190–10–41–4
3 Sanfrecce Hiroshima 621397+270–02–32–1
4 Nagoya Grampus 6204914561–41–42–1

Group D

1 Vissel Kobe 6321148+6113–42–21–1
2 Shonan Bellmare 6312880100–32–01–0
3 V-Varen Nagasaki 6213911271–22–13–2
4 Sagan Tosu 612358350–20–02–1


  Play-off stage Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
  Ventforet Kofu 213 
  Urawa Red Diamonds 022 
   Ventforet Kofu 213 
   Kashiwa Reysol (a)213 
  Kashiwa Reysol
   Kashiwa Reysol 123 (4) 
   Shonan Bellmare (p)123 (5) 
  Shonan Bellmare 314 
  Vegalta Sendai 033 
   Shonan Bellmare 325
   Cerezo Osaka 022 
  Cerezo Osaka
   Shonan Bellmare 1
   Yokohama F. Marinos 0
  Kashima Antlers  
   Kashima Antlers 134
   Kawasaki Frontale 112 
  Kawasaki Frontale
   Kashima Antlers 123
   Yokohama F. Marinos 224 
  Gamba Osaka 134 
  Júbilo Iwata 022 
   Gamba Osaka 011
   Yokohama F. Marinos 437 
  Yokohama F. Marinos 415
  Vissel Kobe 213 

Play-off stage

In each tie (two-legged tie) of play-offs, quarterfinals or semifinals, away goals rule is applied for goals in the regular playing time, but not in the extra time. [1]

Played on June 2 & 9.

Team 1 Agg. Team 21st leg2nd leg
Shonan Bellmare 4–3 Vegalta Sendai 3–01–3
Gamba Osaka 4–2 Júbilo Iwata 1–03–2
Ventforet Kofu 3–2 Urawa Red Diamonds 2–01–2
Yokohama F. Marinos 5–3 Vissel Kobe 4–21–1


Played on September 5 & 9.

Team 1 Agg. Team 21st leg2nd leg
Shonan Bellmare 5–2 Cerezo Osaka 3–02–2
Ventforet Kofu 3–3 (a) Kashiwa Reysol 2–21–1
Gamba Osaka 1–7 Yokohama F. Marinos 0–41–3
Kashima Antlers 4–2 Kawasaki Frontale 1–13–1

First leg

5 September 2018 (2018-09-05) Shonan Bellmare 3–0 Cerezo Osaka Shonan BMW Stadium, Hiratsuka
19:03 Matsuda Soccerball shade.svg 28'
Umesaki Soccerball shade.svg 70'
Kaneko Soccerball shade.svg 75'
Attendance: 5,896
Referee: M. Okabe

5 September 2018 (2018-09-05) Ventforet Kofu 2–2 Kashiwa Reysol Yamanashi Chuo Stadium, Kōfu
19:03 Nakayama Soccerball shade.svg 54'
Soneda Soccerball shade.svg 69'
Soccerball shade.svg 63' Nakagawa
Soccerball shade.svg 85' Cristiano
Attendance: 4,157
Referee: M. Fukushima

5 September 2018 (2018-09-05) Gamba Osaka 0–4 Yokohama F. Marinos Panasonic Stadium Suita, Suita
19:03Soccerball shade.svg 2', 40' Ito
Soccerball shade.svg 74' Ōtsu
Soccerball shade.svg 75' Nakagawa
Attendance: 5,792
Referee: M. Nishimura

5 September 2018 (2018-09-05) Kashima Antlers 1–1 Kawasaki Frontale Kashima Soccer Stadium, Kashima
19:04 Nishi Soccerball shade.svg 19'Soccerball shade.svg 32' (pen.) Chinen Attendance: 7,145
Referee: M. Īda

Second leg

9 September 2018 (2018-09-09) Cerezo Osaka 2–2 Shonan Bellmare Yanmar Stadium Nagai, Osaka
19:03 Takagi Soccerball shade.svg 25'
Souza Soccerball shade.svg 35'
Soccerball shade.svg 31' Kaneko
Soccerball shade.svg 44' (pen.) Yamasaki
Attendance: 6,589
Referee: M. Iemoto

9 September 2018 (2018-09-09) Kashiwa Reysol 1–1 Ventforet Kofu Hitachi Kashiwa Stadium, Kashiwa
19:03 Segawa Soccerball shade.svg 61'Soccerball shade.svg 14' Ferrugem Attendance: 6,120
Referee: M. Murakami

9 September 2018 (2018-09-09) Yokohama F. Marinos 3–1 Gamba Osaka Nissan Stadium, Yokohama
19:03 Nakagawa Soccerball shade.svg 12'
Ito Soccerball shade.svg 20' (pen.), 85'
Soccerball shade.svg 52' Ichimi Attendance: 11,207
Referee: M. Araki

9 September 2018 (2018-09-09) Kawasaki Frontale 1–3 Kashima Antlers Ajinomoto Stadium, Chōfu
19:03 Abe Soccerball shade.svg 51' (pen.)Soccerball shade.svg 28', 37' Yamamoto
Soccerball shade.svg 72' Serginho
Attendance: 19,214
Referee: M. Yamamoto


Played on October 10 & 14.

Team 1 Agg. Team 21st leg2nd leg
Kashiwa Reysol 3–3 (4–5 p) Shonan Bellmare 1–12–2 (a.e.t.)
Kashima Antlers 3–4 Yokohama F. Marinos 1–22–2

First leg

10 October 2018 (2018-10-10) Kashiwa Reysol 1–1 Shonan Bellmare Hitachi Kashiwa Stadium, Kashiwa
19:04 Segawa Soccerball shade.svg 1' Report Kikuchi Soccerball shade.svg 9'Attendance: 5,665
Referee: M. Nishimura

10 October 2018 (2018-10-10) Kashima Antlers 1–2 Yokohama F. Marinos Kashima Soccer Stadium, Kashima
19:03 Inukai Soccerball shade.svg 90+4' Report Amano Soccerball shade.svg 77'
Vieira Soccerball shade.svg 90+5'
Attendance: 8,421
Referee: M. Matsuo

Second leg

14 October 2018 (2018-10-14) Shonan Bellmare 2–2 (a.e.t.)
(5–4 p)
Kashiwa Reysol Shonan BMW Stadium, Hiratsuka
16:03 Ishikawa Soccerball shade.svg 28'
Saka Soccerball shade.svg 93'
Report Otani Soccerball shade.svg 70'
Yamazaki Soccerball shade.svg 113'
Attendance: 13,018
Referee: M. Tōjō
Sugioka Soccerball shad check.svg
Yamasaki Soccerball shad check.svg
Umesaki Soccerball shade cross.svg
Saka Soccerball shad check.svg
Kaneko Soccerball shad check.svg
Takayama Soccerball shad check.svg
Soccerball shad check.svg Cristiano
Soccerball shad check.svg Nakayama
Soccerball shad check.svg Tezuka
Soccerball shade cross.svg Esaka
Soccerball shad check.svg Suzuki
Soccerball shade cross.svg Yamazaki

14 October 2018 (2018-10-14) Yokohama F. Marinos 2–2 Kashima Antlers Nissan Stadium, Yokohama
14:04 Vieira Soccerball shade.svg 20'
Nakagawa Soccerball shade.svg 34'
Report Doi Soccerball shade.svg 62'
Serginho Soccerball shade.svg 70'
Attendance: 12,979
Referee: M. Satō


27 October 2018 (2018-10-27) Shonan Bellmare 1–0 Yokohama F. Marinos Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama
13:05 Sugioka Soccerball shade.svg 36' Report Attendance: 44,242
Referee: M. Kimura

Top goalscorers

As of match played 27 October 2018. [2]
Flag of Japan.svg Sho Ito Yokohama F. Marinos
Flag of Japan.svg Shun Nagasawa Vissel Kobe
Flag of Portugal.svg Hugo Vieira Yokohama F. Marinos
Flag of South Korea.svg Hwang Ui-jo Gamba Osaka

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  1. 1 2 3 "2018JリーグYBCルヴァンカップ 大会方式および試合方式について" [2018 J.League YBC Levain Cup tournament format] (in Japanese). J.League. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  2. https://www.jleague.jp/en/stats/goal.html?s=YLC