92nd Emperor’s Cup Final


Masakatsu Sawa’s snap shot after a pass from Leandro Domingues was turned away well by Gamba Osaka goalkeeper Yohei Takeda. From the resulting corner, however, bent away from goal by Jorge Wagner, Yasuhito Endo could not climb high enough to divert the ball away from goal, and Masakatsu Sawa rose to plant a firm header beyond Takeda to score the only goal of the game for Kashiwa Reysol. which ended Gamba Osaka’s hopes of appearing in their sixth consecutive AFC Champions League. Reysol join Australia’s Central Coast Mariners, Guizhou Renhe from China and South Korea’s Suwon Samsung Bluewings in Group H, taking the final place reserved for a Japanese side in the competition. Gamba now have the opportunity to focus primarily on gaining immediate promotion back to the top-flight of Japanese football, but whether they are able to rely on the talents of senior internationals Endo and Yasuyuki Konno, together with the potent attacking abilities of Leandro and Akihiro Ienaga is a matter which will be decided in the coming weeks.

Gamba Osaka
0 Kashiwa Reysol
Watanabe 35′

92nd Emperor’s Cup: Semi-Final Results

(Yasuhito Endo’s 23rd minute cross flew over Hitoshi Sogahata and into the Kashima Antlers’ net, but the fortuitous nature of the strike shouldn’t undermine a performance in which his Gamba Osaka side came closest to adding to the number of goals scored, and reached the 92nd Emperor’s Cup final. Endo struck the bar later in the first period, while Akihiro Ienaga also went close with a flying volley as Sogahata’s handling deserted him. Yuya Osako found the woodwork with a thumping header for Antlers, but it is Gamba who will have the opportunity to qualify for the 2013 AFC Champions League, and provide the best possible case for Endo and fellow Samurai Blue Yasuyuki Konno to remain with the Suita side as they seek immediate promotion to J.League Division 1)

Gamba Osaka
Endo 23′
1 Kashima Antlers
Yokohama F-Marinos
0 Kashiwa Reysol
Kudo 23′

Matches played 29 December. Gamba Osaka and Kashiwa Reysol will meet in the 92nd Emperor’s Cup Final, to be played on 1 January 2013 at the National Olympic Stadium, kick-off 14:00 JST.

92nd Emperor’s Cup: Quarter-Final Results

(Highlights of the 92nd Emperor’s Cup quarter-final between Nagoya Grampus and Yokohama F-Marinos. The sides couldn’t be separated after 120 minutes, and the tie came down to penalty kicks. After Jungo Fujimoto put Grampus’s first spot-kick wide of the left upright, players from both sides all converted until Yuji Ono stepped up in the fifth round to win the contest for F-Marinos. Seigo Narazaki, however, guessed correctly and dived low to his left to save. The match wouldn’t be decided until the eighth round of penalties, as Yuji Nakazawa confidently placed his penalty into the bottom left corner, and Grampus’s Hayuma Tanaka saw his spot-kick saved, sending F-Marinos into the semi-finals for a meeting with Kashiwa Reysol)

Cerezo Osaka
Kakitani 49′
1 Gamba Osaka
Endo 19′
Ienaga 112′
JEF United Chiba
0 Kashima Antlers
Osako 64′
Nagoya Grampus
0 (6) Yokohama F-Marinos
0 (7)
Omiya Ardija
Ueda 11′
Cho 23′
2 Kashiwa Reysol
Sawa 59′
Masushima 83′
Kudo 90′

(Matches played 23 December. Scores in parentheses indicate result of penalty kicks)