Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Japan: Jubilo Iwata come back to reach J-League Cup final

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on October 10, 2010

J-League CupHaving suffered a 1-0 home defeat in the semi-final first leg just over a week ago Jubilo Iwata turned it around in the second leg against Kawasaki Frontale. The visitors managed a 3-1 second leg victory in order to progress 3-2 on aggregate. In the other second leg tie Sanfreece Hiroshima held out against Shimuzu S-Pulse following a 1-1 draw. Sanfreece won the first leg 1-0 and that proved to be the difference between the two sides overall.

Jubilo Iwata turned it around in their second leg tie but left it very late to claim ultimate victory against Kawasaki Frontale. Kentaro Ohi scored the opening goal for Jubilo after 35 minutes rising highest to head home a Sho Naruoka corner but the lead would last only three minutes when Brazilian forward Juninho pounced to equalize on the night and put Frontale back in front overall. As time went on Jubilo’s chances of progression seemed to be evaporating but they finally got back on track in the 78th minute when Ryohei Yamazaki made it 2-1 on the night and level on aggregate to set up a grandstand finish. The crucial opportunity came with just two minutes of normal time remaining when Sho Naruoka got the winning goal to send the thousands of visiting Jubilo fans into jubilation. Can they win their second J-League Cup twelve years after their first triumph in the competition?

Sanfreece Hiroshima hope that they can spoil things for Jubilo Iwata and claim a maiden triumph in their first final following a 2-1 aggregate win over Shimuzu S-Pulse. Sanfreece scraped a 1-0 win in the first leg and the aggregate lead was doubled midway through the second half after Satoru Yamagishi knocked the ball home in the 65th minute. The home side pulled one back through Shinji Ono with two minutes to play but it proved to be too little too late for Shimuzu whose dreams of a second J-League Cup title were over.

The final between Jubilo Iwata and Sanfreece Hiroshima will be played at the National Stadium in Tokyo with a date in early November most likely but the date has yet to be decided.

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.