Kawasaki capture Fujifilm Super Cup 2024

Kawasaki capture Fujifilm Super Cup 2024

A goal from Sai van Wermeskerken sealed victory for Kawasaki Frontale at the Fujifilm Super Cup 2024 as the new signing made an instant impact to defeat Vissel Kobe, 1-0, at the National Stadium on Saturday.

The Emperor's Cup holders were defensively rock solid all afternoon, with 19-year-old center back Kota Takai impressing throughout in a composed, confident defensive performance against the defending Meiji Yasuda J1 League champions.

The match offered little in the way of fireworks in the first half, with both sides taking a cagey approach and conceding few chances in the opening 45 minutes.

After half-time, though, Frontale would find their opening and their breakthrough. A free-kick in the attacking third was whipped dangerously into the box and Vissel goalkeeper Daiya Maekawa was unable to corral it, forcing an attempted clearance from Hotaru Yamaguchi.

Unfortunately for Yamaguchi, that clearance hit the on-rushing van Wermeskerken's leg and went into the goal. In the strangest of ways, it was 1-0 to Kawasaki, sparking massive celebrations on the bench and in the blue half of the stadium.

Frontale nearly doubled their lead on several occasions, most notably when Tatsuki Seko rattled the bar with a superb free-kick from 25 yards out.

Ultimately, they wouldn't need a second tally as Takai and the Frontale rearguard held firm until the final whistle, keeping a clean sheet and sealing the silverware.

The Kawasaki end exploded in celebrations behind the goal and the team joined them in jubilation.

It was a wonderful start to the year and manager Toru Oniki will be hoping it's just the beginning as Frontale look to get back to the J1 elite and challenge for a title in 2024.