Kawasaki Frontale have beaten Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo on penalties in the J.League YBC Levain Cup final on October 26 and lifted the trophy for the first time in their history.
Consadole’s convincing start had led to the opening goal of the match in the 10th minute, when Daiki Suga scored with a powerful volley. Frontale retaliated with Hiroyuki Abe’s equalizer before half-time, and the first 45 minutes ended with both teams tied at 1-1.
It was the Kawasaki team that created more chances in the second half, and finally in the 88th minute, Yu Kobayaski found the net to push his side toward the trophy. However, Sapporo didn’t give up, and Kazuki Fukai’s header finished off a corner taken by Akito Fukumori deep into additional time to send the game into extra-time.
Gaining momentum, Consadole pushed forward and Fukumori scored a stunning free kick in the 99th minute, but that was still not the end of the drama. Despite Shogo Taniguchi being sent off, 10-men Frontale drew level again in the 109th minute, with Yu Kobayashi scoring his second goal from a set piece.
The game went on to penalties after each team scoring three goals in the 120 minutes. While Kawasaki’s fourth kicker Shintato Kurumaya failed to convert, Sapporo’s 5th shot by Naoki Ishikawa was saved by Shota Arai. Frontale’s goalkeeper also saved Sapporo’s next shot by Ryosuke Shindo and sealed Kawasaki’s victory. It was Kawasaki Frontale's fifth appearance in the Levain Cup final and the first time they lifted the trophy.