Cerezo Osaka capture Emperor’s Cup in thriller

Cerezo Osaka capture Emperor’s Cup in thriller

The 2017 Emperor’s Cup Final took place on New Year’s Day, with Cerezo Osaka triumphing over Yokohama F. Marinos 2-1 in extra time to win their second cup title of the year.

With a spot in the AFC Champions League up for grabs, F. Marinos bounded forth early in the match to take the lead in the eighth minute when Sho Ito cooly trapped the ball with his chest and beat Cerezo goalkeeper Kim Jin-hyeon in a one-on-one showdown.

The Kanagawa side continued to exert their influence on the match, but Kota Mizunuma’s powerful shot in the 65th minute led to Kazuya Yamamura’s equaliser, putting Cerezo back in the thick of things.

Just five minutes into extra time it was instead Yamamura providing a cross from the left side to Mizunuma, who headed in what would become the game-winner to bring a second cup back to Yanmar Stadium Nagai.

The result qualifies Cerezo for next month’s FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2018 against J1 League champions Kawasaki Frontale. In addition, Cerezo will join Group G of the AFC Champions League while Kashiwa Reysol will enter Japan’s playoff spot.