The final of the 2016 Emperor’s Cup took place on Sunday, opening the new year with a sold-out affair at Osaka’s Suita Stadium.
The rematch of the MEIJI YASUDA 2016 J.League Championship semi-final saw league champions Kashima Antlers face Kawasaki Frontal in what became a heated affair from the outset.
After a first half that looked set to end 0-0, FIFA Club World Cup runners-up Antlers took the lead in the 42nd minute when Shuto Yamamoto headed in the opening goal.
Frontale responded eight minutes into the second half with striker Yu Kobayashi netting the equaliser.
After 90 minutes were not enough to break the deadlock, it took just four minutes of extra time for Antlers substitute Fabricio to net what would become the game-winner.
Masatada Ishii’s men therefore secured their second domestic title of the year, in the process denying Frontale their first-ever trophy.