How Kawasaki Frontale reached the Fujifilm Super Cup 2024

How Kawasaki Frontale reached the Fujifilm Super Cup 2024

Kawasaki Frontale are ready to kick off the new Japanese football season at the Fujifilm Super Cup, but how did a team that finished eighth in the 2023 Meiji Yasuda J1 League earn the right to start off 2024 with a crack at a trophy?

The answer is that Frontale finished off last year by winning the 103rd edition of the Emperor’s Cup.

Frontale entered the competition in the second round, along with the rest of the Meiji Yasuda J1 and J2 League clubs, and they kicked things off with a 3-1 win over fifth division side Tochigi City.

The third round presented a stiffer challenge in the form of J2’s Mito HollyHock. Taisei Miyashiro proved to be the difference as his 81st minute goal pushed Frontale through for a 2-1 victory.

Frontale then dispatched the last remaining team from outside J1 or J2 when they defeated Japanese Soccer League club Kochi United, 1-0, in the round of 16.

Frontale’s first clash with a top-flight team was as tough as you’d expect. Albirex Niigata struck first and only a Tatsuki Seko extended Frontale’s cup run as the two teams went to extra-time. There, each side scored to force penalty kicks, where Jung Sung-ryong came up big in goal to send Frontale through.

The attack carried Frontale through the semi-finals, with four different goalscorers finding the back of the net in a 4-2 win over J.League YBC Levain Cup winners Avispa Fukuoka.

Then, came the final against Kashiwa Reysol. The match drew a massive crowd at the Japan National Stadium as the season’s final trophy was on the line. After a disappointing J1 campaign, Frontale had every intention of ending the year with silverware that would both give them a crowning achievement for 2023 and send them to 2024 on a high.

They did just that, thanks to Jung. The goalkeeper was masterful in regular time, then again in extra-time as Frontale and Reysol went to penalty kicks.

The shootout extended to the 11th round, where Jung first buried his spot kick in the top corner and then made a save to win the second Emperor’s Cup in club history.

It was a day out at the National Stadium that Frontale fans will never forget — and the club will hope to have one more of those on Saturday at the Fujifilm Super Cup 2024.

Be sure to visit our informational page to find out how you can watch Kawasaki take on Vissel Kobe for the first trophy of the season!