Japan: Jubilo Iwata win J-League Cup in extra-time thriller (+video)
Jubilo Iwata won their second J-League Cup at the expense of opponents Sanfreece Hiroshima in a thrilling cup final played on Wednesday. With the game tied at 2-2 after ninety minutes an extra half-hour was needed to determine the latest winners of Japan’s second cup competition.
A crowd of just under 40,000 were present in the National Stadium, Tokyo and they witnessed what proved to be a classic cup final. Keisuke Funatani opened the scoring for Jubilo Iwata after 36 minutes but, just as it seemed that they would hold on to the lead going into the break, Tadanari Lee equalized in the 43rd minute for Sanfreece, who were hoping to win this trophy for the first time in their history. With three minutes played in the second half Sanfreece’s chances of a maiden title increased after Satoru Yamagishi gave the Hiroshima club the lead. With time running out in the game it looked like Jubilo’s cup dreams were dying out but they were resurrected in the 89th minute after Ryoichi Maeda restored parity for Jubilo and, with extra-time looming, the late strike dashed Sanfreece’s hopes and confidence going into the added period of thirty minutes.
Jubilo Iwata took charge in the first half of extra-time with Minoru Suganuma and Ryohei Yamazaki hitting the back of the net and this left Sanfreece with a mountain to climb. They did pull one goal back in the second half of extra-time through a wonderfully struck Tomoaki Makino free-kick but the last word went to Jubilo Iwata’s Ryoichi Maeda. Having taken the game into extra-time with his first goal of the game he sealed the deal with his second goal in the 109th minute and the cup was heading its way back to Iwata for the second time in the club’s history. The win also means that Jubilo Iwata will compete for the 2011 Suruga Bank Championship in which they will meet the winners of the 2010 Copa Sudamericana.
WATCH JUBILO IWATA v SANFREECE HIROSHIMA GOALS HERE: