Suruga: One in the Bank for Japan as Tokyo beat Quito (+video)
The Suruga Bank championship is a one-off match, similar to the European Super Cup, which pits the winners of the Copa Sudamericana against the Japanese J-League Cup holders. The Japanese club, by tradition, hosts the game and this year the honour was bestowed upon FC Tokyo – who beat Kawasaki Frontale 2-0 in the 2009 J-League Cup final – and they had the tough task of playing against LDU Quito, a team who are the defending Sudamericana title holders after beating Fluminense 5-4 in last year’s two-legged final. Stoppage Time – International Football Blog describes the best of the action.
The Ecuadorians were big favourites going into this game especially as they had made a habit of winning international titles in the last couple of years. Copa Libertadores champions in 2008, Liga Deportiva Universitaria (to give them their full name) then secured Sudamericana and Recopa (South American Super Cup) honours in 2009 and were hoping to add to the set in the Japanese capital on Wednesday night. FC Tokyo, however, had national pride to fight for because the previous two contests in the competition’s brief history had concluded with victory for South American sides. The inaugural tournament in 2008 saw Argentinian club Arsenal de Sarandi come out 1-0 winners against Gamba Osaka whilst in 2009 Brazilian club Internacional triumphed over Ōita Trinita by a 2-1 scoreline. This time, though, things would turn out differently.
The game started off slowly but began to liven up when Hernán Barcos scored with a beautiful strike from the edge of the penalty box in the 27th minute to give LDU Quito the lead. The lead didn’t last long as just five minutes had elapsed before FC Tokyo found the net when Sōta Hirayama tucked the ball home from close range following up a save from Sotan Tanabe’s long-range shot. In the second half the Ecuadorians took the lead again from the penalty spot after Jorge Guagua was brought down in the box and Patrico Urrutia stepped up to make it two goals to one. The team from the Ecuadorian capital looked nervous as the game neared its end and it was one minute into stoppage time that their resistance of FC Tokyo finally came to an end when Masashi Oguro got on the end of a flick on from a long punt up forward and steered the ball past keeper Alexander Domínguez. This meant that the game headed towards the dreaded penalty shoot-out and for the Ecuadorians it would be disappointing to see Carlos Luna and Patricio Urrutia miss their kicks, the latter especially seeing as he scored from the spot in regular time. After five penalties each it was FC Tokyo who would triumph 4-3 when Yōhei Kajiyama scored the deciding goal to give FC Tokyo their first international title.
WATCH THE GOALS FROM THE 2010 COPA SURUGA BANK FINAL HERE: