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Trinita stun Frontale to join Urawa in Emperor's Cup Final

Mon, 13 Dec 2021 - 18:00 JST
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Trinita stun Frontale to join Urawa in Emperor's Cup Final

Kawasaki Frontale are back-to-back MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE champions and Emperor’s Cup holders. Oita Trinita were just relegated from the top flight and playing in their first-ever Emperor’s Cup semi-final. Their clash looked like a massive mismatch, but it proved to be a massive upset as Trinita toppled mighty Frontale to advance to the final.

Trinita’s defense stole the show as they held the spectacular Frontale attack scoreless for more than 90 minutes. The match went to extra time at 0-0 before Yu Kobayashi finally broke through for Frontale in the 113th minute. That seemed to be the match winner, but Henrique Trevisan got his head to a Hokuto Shimoda cross after the 120th minute for a stunning equalizer that sent the match to penalty kicks.

Shun Takagi played the hero on spot kicks, making two saves as Trinita won, 5-4, on penalties to become the first J.LEAGUE team from Kyushu to make the Emperor’s Cup final.

When Trinita take the pitch at the National Stadium for the final, they will do so alongside Urawa Reds, who topped Cerezo Osaka, 2-0, in their semi-final.

Urawa were the better side from kickoff and the clear deserving winners, scoring in the first half through Tomoya Ugajin. The Reds stayed on the front foot, but it took until the waning minutes before substitute Yoshio Koizumi notched Urawa’s second tally to put the match away when he dribbled through two defenders before finishing for a terrific goal.

Trinita and Urawa will meet on December 19 in the final match of the Japanese professional season to crown the Emperor's Cup champion.