Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Japan: Champions Nagoya prevail in Super Cup

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on February 26, 2011

J-League champions Nagoya Grampus Eight and Emperor’s Cup holders Kashima Antlers began the season in Japan on Saturday with the traditional curtain raising Super Cup match.

Nagoya won their maiden league title in 2010 having beaten nearest challengers Gamba Osaka by ten points whilst Kashima Antlers, the team deposed as league champions by Nagoya, had the consolation of winning Japanese football’s main knockout tournament defeating Shimuzu S-Pulse 2-1 in the final. Kashima were hoping to win their third consecutive Super Cup whilst Nagoya were hoping to win a second Super Cup crown fifteen years after their first.

The game was a tight affair in the first half and, to nobody’s surprise, remained goalless at the break. Thankfully the game opened up in the second half when Takahiro Masukawa headed home to break the deadlock nine minutes into the second half and this gave the game the spur it needed. Twelve minutes later the game was back on level terms following Takuya Nozawa’s free-kick and this was how the game would end up following 120 minutes of action.

Therefore a penalty shoot-out was needed and it was looking bad for the champions after Australian international Joshua Kennedy missed with the first spot-kick but Kashima were unable to capitalise as captain Daiki Iwamasa also failed to convert his opportunity. Nagoya scored from three of their remaining penalties as Jungo Fujimoto, Alessandro Santos and Yoshizumi Ogawa were all successful whereas Kashima could only watch in despair as Alex and Toru Araiba had their kicks saved by Nagoya keeper Seigo Narazaki. This allowed the champions to prevail by a 3-1 scoreline in the shoot-out and meant that Nagoya could savour their second triumph in this competition.

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.

J-League and K-League champions signal the old and the new

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on December 7, 2009
Kashima Antlers

Kashima Antlers have secured their third straight J-League title

Two major championships concluded in Asia this weekend, one championship congratulating a team who have turned winning into an art form on the domestic stage, the other congratulating a club who have finally landed their maiden national title.

Kashima Antlers were crowned champions of Japan this weekend securing a third straight title courtesy of a 1-0 win away at Urawa Red Diamonds. Shinko Koroki’s goal in the 66th minute proved enough as the Antlers finished two points clear of Kawasaki Frontale, whose 3-2 victory away to Kashiwa Reysol ultimately proved fruitless. Kashima cement their place as the most successful club in the J-League era as they have won the J-League championship seven times since its formation in 1993. At the bottom of the table JEF United, Oita Trinita and Kashiwa Reysol were relegated and they’ll be replaced in 2010 by Vegalta Sandai, Cerezo Osaka and Shonan Bellmare.

Things were different in South Korea where the K-League saw Jeonbuk Hyandai Motors lift their first ever league championship trophy. Jeonbuk had already clinched the regular league title finishing four points ahead of FIFA Club World Cup participants Pohang Steelers and FC Seoul. Following the regular season a play-off series was contested, Jeonbuk’s prize for finishing first in the regular table was a bye into the final. Five teams entering at various rounds were hoping to contest Jeonbuk in the final and, after three rounds, it was Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma, who had finished fourth in the regular season, who were to be the lucky opponents with a shot at title glory. After the first leg of the final had finished in a goalless draw, Jeonbuk took no prisoners in the second match played at their home stadium in Jeonju. Eninho scored the first goal of the game after 21 minutes to set them on their way. After the Brazilian scored his second just before half-time, former South Korean international Lee Dong-Gook confirmed the match with a 72nd minute penalty for Jeonbuk to seal the deal, Seongnam getting a consolation goal through Kim Jin-Yong in the 84th minute.