Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Japan: Kashiwa secure 2012 Emperor’s Cup

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on January 1, 2013

In the first major footballing showpiece final of this year, Kashiwa Reysol secured Japanese football’s major domestic knockout competition when defeating Gamba Osaka 1-0 in the 2012 (yes, that is 2012 as opposed to 2013) Emperor’s Cup final in the National Stadium in Tokyo.

Kashiwa Reysol went into the game as favourites, the team having finished the 2012 J-League 1 season in a respectable sixth place. In contrast their opponents Gamba Osaka finished the most recent league campaign in seventeenth place in the 18 team league and were relegated into J-League 2 for next season. Despite this Gamba Osaka gave it their all and were unfortunate to have a goal chalked off for offside early in the game. Kashiwa Reysol, however, would ultimately make Osaka pay as Hirofumi Watanabe’s goal in the 35th minute proved the difference between the two teams.

Kashiwa’s victory was the third time that the club had won Japan’s version of the F.A. Cup, the other two Emperor’s Cup titles coming in the 1970s when Reysol were known as Hitachi Sports Club, whilst today’s success ensures that Kashiwa have won a major trophy for the third season in succession following their 2010 J-League 2 and 2011 J-League 1 successes. Kashiwa Reysol will also take part in the 2013 AFC Champions League as their reward for today’s cup heroics.

Japan: Tokyo to savour Emperor’s Cup triumph (video)

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on January 4, 2012

First of all I should start this piece by wishing everybody a happy new year! I’ve been enjoying myself over the Christmas holiday and have neglected the blog over the last few days so I need to rectify this, starting off with a piece regarding the new Emperor’s Cup winners in Japan.

FC Tokyo have done an unlikely league and cup double in Japan following their 4-2 triumph over Kyoto Sanga in last Sunday’s Emperor’s Cup final. FC Tokyo had already clinched the J-League second division, topping the table with an eight point advantage over nearest challengers Sagan Tosu, and then went on to win the first ever Emperor’s Cup final to be played by two teams outside of the top flight.

FC Tokyo were the obvious favourites going into the cup final but Kyoto Sanga struck first on 13 minutes thanks to Hiroki Nakayama only for the capital city club to equalize just three minutes later through Yasuyuki Konno. Tokyo then exerted their dominance on the game and went into the half-time break with a 3-1 lead courtesy of further strikes from Masato Morishige and Lucas Severino. Tokyo sealed the victory with Lucas again on the score sheet midway through the second half only for Kyoto, who finished in a respectable seventh position in the second division this term, to pull a goal back through Yuya Kubo.

The victory proved extra sweet for FC Tokyo as it was their maiden triumph in Japan’s premier knockout cup competition, having won the secondary tournament J-League Cup twice in 2004 and 2009. Not only that but FC Tokyo will get a chance to prove themselves on Asian football’s biggest stage next season as they will feature in the 2012 AFC Champions League in Group F alongside Ulsan Hyundai (South Korea), Brisbane Roar (Australia) and Beijing Guoan (China).

Japan: Kashima claim Emperor’s Cup title

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on January 1, 2011

Emperor's Cup logoKashima Antlers have won the 2010 Emperor’s Cup with a 2-1 win in the final against Shimuzu S-Pulse. The win means that the Antlers have won this competition for the second time in four years and fourth time overall.

Fellype Gabriel gave Kashima the lead after 26 minutes in the National Stadium, Tokyo, but Frode Johnsen, a two-goal hero in Shimuzu’s semi-final win over Gamba Osaka, restored parity in the 59th minute. The winner came with thirteen minutes to play as Takuya Nozawa struck the decisive goal to gift the Antlers the second major prize in Japanese football. Following Nagoya Grampus Eight’s J-League championship win and Jubilo Iwata’s triumph in the J-League Cup it was important for either team to win the last remaining piece of silverware in the 2010 season and Kashima Antlers managed to hold out, leaving Shimuzu S-Pulse without silverware for a ninth consecutive year.

Kashima Antlers will participate in February’s 2011 season curtain raising Fuji Xerox Super Cup match against league champions Nagoya Grampus Eight.

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Japan: Kashima and Shimuzu reach Emperor’s Cup final

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on December 29, 2010

Emperor's CupThe semi-finals of the Emperor’s Cup, Japan’s equivalent of the FA Cup, were held today and for Kashima Antlers and Shimuzu S-Pulse the dream of lifting silverware on Saturday became one step closer to reality with wins over FC Tokyo and Gamba Osaka respectively.

Kashima Antlers had to come from behind in order to force extra-time in their semi-final match-up. Kenta Mukuhara gave FC Tokyo the lead just six minutes before the break but the Antlers restored parity midway through the second half thanks to Yuya Osako. With no further goals in normal time the game needed an extra thirty minutes and the crucial moment came in the last minute of the match when Shinzo Koroki struck to give Kashima a place in the final in the most dramatic of circumstances.

In the other semi-final Shimuzu S-Pulse had a much easier time of it defeating Gamba Osaka 3-0 at home to claim their place in the final. Norwegian striker Frode Johnsen scored a brace and Akihiro Hyodo scored the other as Shimuzu wrapped the scoring up by the hour mark to comfortably secure their passage into Japan’s showpiece knockout final which will take place in Tokyo’s National Stadium on Saturday.

Japan: Nagoya out of Emperor’s Cup

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on December 25, 2010

Emperor's CupThe 2010 J-League champions Nagoya Grampus Eight are out of this year’s Emperor’s Cup. The main knockout tournament in Japanese football plays its final three rounds this week and Stoppage Time – International Football Blog reviews the quarter-finals which were played today.

The Emperor’s Cup grants a berth to the 2011 AFC Champions League for the winner so there was a lot at stake in each of today’s last eight showdowns. Champions Nagoya Grampus Eight’s chances of doing a league and cup double were dashed by Kashima Antlers, who are guaranteed the fourth place to Asia’s top club competition if this year’s Emperor’s Cup winners have already qualified via the league. Shinzo Koroki gave Kashima the lead after just seven minutes and it took a long time for Nagoya to restore parity. The equalizer came in the 76th minute thanks to Yoshizumi Ogawa but the joy was short-lived as the Antlers scored the winning goal just two minutes later through Yuya Osako.

Kashima Antlers’ reward for progressing is a semi-final date with FC Tokyo who eventually knocked out Avispa Fukuoka after a pulsating 120 minutes of football. Avispa took the lead when Tetsuya Okubo scored on 13 minutes and the home side were preparing to celebrate progression tothe final four until FC Tokyo’s Naohiro Ishikawa took the game into extra-time with an equalizing goal three minutes into second half stoppage time. Suto Hirayama gave the capital side the lead on 94 minutes and when Ishikawa got his second four minutes later all seemed lost for the home side. Avispa reduced the deficit with two minutes of extra-time remaining, Daiki Niwa ensuring a tense finish but the game finished at 3-2.

The other semi-final will see Gamba Osaka take on Shimuzu S-Pulse. The former ensured their passage with a 2-1 win over Urawa Red Diamonds in extra-time. Takashi Usami was the man whose goal in the 103rd minute broke the hearts of Urawa supporters gifting his team a 2-1 win following strikes from Yasuhito Endō (Osaka) and Tomoya Ugajin (Urawa) in normal time. The final match of the last eight stage went all the way to a penalty shoot-out as Shimuzu S-Pulse and Montedio Yamagata couldn’t be separated after 120 minutes of football. Yūzō Tashiro gave Yamagata the lead on 107 minutes only to see Australian defender Eddy Bosnar restore parity for Shimuzu two minutes later. Montedio Yamagata missed one spot kick in the subsequent shoot-out whilst Shimuzu had a 100% success rate from twelve yeards to ensure that they advance to the next stage.

The semi-finals will be played on Wednesday, December 29th.

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