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FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

Kawasaki Frontale beat Gamba Osaka in 96th minute to win thrilling FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

The FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP has a history of thrilling matches, and the 2021 edition was as good as it gets. A dominant start from Kawasaki Frontale was answered by a dizzying Gamba Osaka comeback. Then, with the match looking destined for penalty kicks, Yu Kobayashi scored with the final kick of the game to deliver Kawasaki Frontale the 3-2 win and FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP trophy.

Kawasaki Frontale opened the match as favorites, coming off of MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE and Emperor’s Cup titles in 2020. Their quality was on full display early on as Kaoru Mitoma, in particular, shined with a pair of goals, but last season’s runners up Gamba Osaka came into the match hoping to prove they could play with the champions, and they did. They may have come up short at the Saitama Stadium 2002 on Saturday, but there is no doubt that their point was made - Kawasaki Frontale, as good as they are, have a real challenger on their hands in Gamba.

The action started quickly, with Leandro Damião trying an overhead kick within three minutes. The brilliant attempt left Kawasaki Frontale with a rebound that should have been the opening goal, but Masaaki Higashiguchi made a terrific save to keep the match scoreless.

Kawasaki Frontale did not slow down. Miki Yamane’s dazzling footwork saw him nutmeg a defender before crossing for a big chance that was hit into the side netting. Moments later, new signing João Schmidt sent a corner kick on goal, which required another great save from Higashiguchi. Shogo Taniguchi should have scored the rebound, but his shot went flying over the bar.

All of this came in the first dozen minutes, and while Patric tried to give Gamba Osaka some life with his 14th minute overhead kick attempt, it was easily saved and Kawasaki Frontale were quickly on the front foot with Akihiro Ienaga just barely missing with a blistering shot on the other end.

Finally, in the 29th minute, Kawasaki Frontale got the lead they deserved. Mitoma ended up on the end of a gorgeous move and, with a clear line at goal, buried a shot to best the previously impenetrable Higashiguchi for the game’s opening tally.

Mitoma struck again four minutes later as Kawasaki Frontale regained the ball in the attacking third and Miki Yamane quickly hit a cross towards goal. The scrambling Gamba Osaka defense was asking for offside as Mitoma cooly tapped it home to put the ball into the net and VAR affirmed the lineman’s onside decision to uphold the goal.

The second half started just as the first half ended, with a sizzling cross from Kawasaki Frontale finding its target as Damião got free in front and beat Higashiguchi with his effort, but just barely put it over the bar.

Gamba began to find their footing after Damião’s miss, though. It started with a more confident defense, then the midfield began to possess the ball for long stretches, then finally they started to get the ball into the box. 

Gamba Osaka had come alive and it paid off in the 60th minute. With Patric’s hulking presence keeping Kawasaki Frontale from clearing, the ball found Yuki Yamamoto at 15 yards. His header sent the ball towards goal, where Shinya Yajima intervened. A speedy touch to bring the ball down, then shot with his body twisting all in one motion was gorgeous. It was also effective, as his shot found the back of the net and the game was back on.

With a goal on the board, Gamba Osaka saw a chance to win the Super Cup right in front of them and continued to pressure Kawasaki Frontale. They pushed the ball forward time and time again, then in the 66th minute drew a penalty when an attempted flick in the box caught the arm of Yamane. The referee quickly and rightfully pointed to the spot, and Patric buried the penalty kick into the top corner to bring the match level at 2-2.

Both teams pushed desperately for a winner, with Gamba just barely flashing a header over goal minutes after nearly being given another penalty. Kawasaki Frontale found their way back into the match late and nearly pulled off a 90th minute winner, but Higashiguchi came to the rescue yet again. This time he scrambled to save a point blank header, his best save in a match full of excellent saves from the Gamba goalkeeper.

Even Higashiguchi’s magic could not deny Kawasaki Frontale in the end, though.

With the clock passing 95:00 and the match into the final minute of stoppage time, it looked destined for penalty kicks. But Kawasaki Frontale were able to find some space between the Gamba lines and a firm pass from the back found Daiya Tono between the Gamba midfield and defense. The midfielder then turned and spotted Kobayashi on his right with a clear path to goal. A good pass from Tono hit Kobayashi at a full sprint, but the job was not yet done. Beating Higashiguchi was going to take a calm and perfectly placed finish, which is exactly what Kobayashi delivered to make Kawasaki Frontale FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP champions.

Kawasaki Frontale were the best team in the country last year and have now begun this season with a trophy. But Gamba Osaka’s ferocious comeback featured the dazzling skill and tough mindset needed to challenge a top team like Kawasaki Frontale. They have it, and it’s clear that the 2021 race to the top of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE is going to be a battle for the ages.

 

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP Preview: Can Gamba Osaka shock champions Kawasaki Frontale?

There is nothing quite like the FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP.

The match draws the eyes of the country and the world, not only because it is the kick-off to the new season in Japan but because it is frequently the only top-level game being played at that very moment on Earth. Pitting two of the premier sides from the previous campaign, it is a spotlight unlike any other, bundled with the buzz and excitement of the start of a new year.

Before most of the country has even played a match, an important trophy is handed out—and that is what Kawasaki Frontale and Gamba Osaka will be playing for on Saturday when they meet at Saitama Stadium 2002 in Japanese football’s 2021 curtain raiser. This is their chance to show off for a huge global audience and add yet another trophy to their already-overflowing cabinets.

Kawasaki Frontale enter the match as the undisputed favorites. They are in the midst of a run unlike any the country has ever seen, with three MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE titles, an Emperor’s Cup, a J.LEAGUE Cup and the 2019 FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP. But that doesn’t even begin to capture just how good Kawasaki Frontale was in 2020.

To say that Kawasaki Frontale won the J1 LEAGUE and Emperor’s Cup double last season doesn’t do them justice. They set a record for the most points ever won in the league, with a margin at the top of the table also setting a record. Their 88 goals? You guessed it, set a record. And their +57 goal difference was also a J.LEAGUE record. It was, quite simply, the best season Japan has ever seen.

This season’s Kawasaki Frontale squad will look a little different, though. Hidemasa Morita left to play in Portugal, while the legendary Kengo Nakamura retired. João Schmidt has been brought in from Nagoya Grampus and Kazuki Kozuka should help fill those voids, while the club will also lean on the continued growth of their young players, but there is likely to be some adjustment period for the dominant Kawasaki Frontale, and that opens the door for Gamba Osaka.

The 2007 and 2015 FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP winners were runners up in the MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE a year ago, and the Osaka side are looking to make a statement that they are ready to challenge for the title this time around. They’ve also made a slew of moves this offseason so they can take the fight to Kawasaki Frontale.

Leandor Pereira and Tiago Alves give Gamba Osaka an all-Brazilian option up front. The club also signed Ju Se-jong from FC Seoul, allowing him to join Kim Young-Gwon in a spine straight out of the Korean national team. With those additions, as well as some development within the team, Gamba Osaka is in a position to challenge Kawasaki Frontale for the top spot.

Before the J.LEAGUE season starts in earnest, though, there is a FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP trophy to win. Will Kawasaki Frontale make it clear that they are still the best team Japan has to offer, and ready to build upon a historically great season? Or will Gamba Osaka take a shot across the bow and make clear that they’re set to take down last season’s kings? We will find out on Saturday at Saitama Stadium 2002—and global fans in select markets can be there to catch it all on the J.LEAGUE International YouTube channel!

 

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

The FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP has a history of delivering unmatched drama

A long, cold winter comes to an end and, finally, there is warmth. There is a return.

Japanese football is back! And it starts with the FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2021, between Kawasaki Frontale and Gamba Osaka, on February 20th.

The first kick-off to every season doesn’t just bring the beautiful game back to Japanese shores, but it also has a habit of giving us memorable contests full of drama and excitement.

For example, take Gamba Osaka’s most recent triumph in the competition, their 2015 victory over J1 LEAGUE runners-up Urawa Reds. After a cagey opening, Gamba Osaka poured it on to start the second half and were finally rewarded in the 68th minute when Usami put the title holders in front. Patric then clinched the trophy in stoppage time, finding the back of the net for the 2-0 victory.

Gamba Osaka was relegated from the J1 LEAGUE in 2012, promoted to the J1 LEAGUE in 2013, and won three domestic titles (J1 LEAGUE, Yamazaki Nabisco Cup and Emperor’s Cup) in 2014. After some tumultuous seasons, the winning of the FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP in 2015 capped an exceptional period for the club.

On the other side of this year’s proceedings, we have an example of how the season-opening cup clash can also be a breakout show for some, like it was in 2019 for Leandro Damião. Kawasaki Frontale were coming off of back-to-back J1 LEAGUE titles when they signed Damião in the offseason, and when they sent him out on the pitch at the FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP, it was a statement of intent. 

Damião proved just how much he could add to the Frontale attack with a winning goal in the 52nd minute—a tally that wrapped up the FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP for Kawasaki Frontale, who would go on to take the J.LEAGUE Cup later in the year before winning the double in 2020 with Damião leading the line.

Last year’s FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP was one of the ages, too, as it pitted Yokohama F·Marinos, in search of their first-ever SUPER CUP victory after four defeats, against Vissel Kobe, who were playing for the trophy for the first time. 

The match proved to be a classic, and a back-and-forth event in every sense. Vissel Kobe scored first, only for Yokohama F. Marinos to strike back right away. Vissel Kobe took another lead, before another equalizer, and finally, they took a third lead, but Erik’s late goal sent the match to extra time and, finally, penalties. The first two penalties by each team were converted, before the goalkeepers combined to keep out an astounding nine straight spot kicks before Hotaru Yamaguchi stepped up and buried his in the seventh round of penalties to deliver Vissel Kobe the trophy and sent Yokohama F. Marinos to an agonizing fifth Super Cup defeat.

Who will win the 2021 FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP? Kawasaki Frontale are the overwhelming favorites, but Gamba Osaka want to start off their campaign with a trophy and if the history of this competition has taught us anything, it’s that the spectacular and unpredictable is always right around the corner.

Don’t forget to tune in on Saturday and remember that global fans in select markets can watch the match live on the J.LEAGUE International YouTube channel!

 

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2021 to be Broadcast Worldwide

J.LEAGUE has announced that FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2021 will be available for viewing worldwide on the following broadcasting networks.

This match will be broadcast in 41 countries and regions, including China, South Korea and Thailand in Asia, as well as countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. In addition, J.LEAGUE International (J.LEAGUE Official YouTube Channel, https://www.youtube.com/jleagueinternational) will provide matches to all areas excluding Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Thailand.
 

Country/Region Broadcasting Network
China PP Sports, K-BALL
South Korea SpoTV, SpoTV Now
Hong Kong i-Cable
Macau TDM
Indonesia K-Vision
Thailand SIAMSPORT
Taiwan ELTA
Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen (24 countries in total) Dubai Sports
Germany, Switzerland, Austria Sportdigital
Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia - Herzegovina, North Macedonia Sportklub
Israel Sport5

 

J.LEAGUE News

2021 Season – Notice Regarding Matches and Competition Rules

The J.LEAGUE has announced that the Board of Directors confirmed the following protocols for official matches conducted during the 2021 season.

■Competitions in Scope
2021 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE, 2021 J.LEAGUE YBC Levain CUP, FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2021

Number of Substitutions (Same as 2020 season)

The COVID-19 crisis places an enormous burden on players in the 2021 season, and requires a tight competition schedule. The following rules will therefore be applied to help prevent player injury:
• Up to five substitutes (up to three times of substitution per match, excluding half-time)

Cooling Breaks

The COVID-19 crisis places an enormous burden on players in the 2021 season, and players cannot share water bottles due to the need to prevent infection, making it difficult for them to hydrate during matches. To alleviate this burden, the following rules will be applied:
• In principle, regardless of the WBGT (Wet Bulb Globe Temperature), one cooling break will be implemented in the first and second half of the match
• If both teams agree, it is possible to not take the cooling break (If the WBGT Index standard is not exceeded)
• These rules will be applied until the end of July, 2021. The conditions will be reevaluated for matches held from August onwards

 

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP International Mascot Poll Explainer

Superstars for the ages. Mind-blowing goals. Mascots like nowhere else on the planet.

So many things make the MEIJI YASUDA J.LEAGUE a one-of-a-kind football experience, and mascots are a crucial part of that mix. These cuddly club icons bring us joy, excite the crowd before matches, and tell you about each of the teams in the competition and what makes them so unique.

Which club has the best mascot, though? That’s for you to decide.

Alongside the J.LEAGUE’s official Mascot General Election, which is ongoing and open to anyone with a J.LEAGUE ID ( https://www.jleague.jp/mascot/2021/ ), the J.LEAGUE will also host an international social media mascot poll to choose the club with the best mascot or set of mascots!

This won’t be easy! There are so many amazing mascots to choose from and narrowing it down to one J.LEAGUE club is a challenge for the ages, but one you are no doubt up to. All 54 J.LEAGUE clubs with original official mascots will be represented, with only Azul Claro Numazu, FC Imabari and Tegevajaro Miyazaki not joining the poll.

The competition will run from February 10th through February 20th, the day of the FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP Final. Until then, you can go to the J.LEAGUE International Twitter ( https://twitter.com/J_League_En ) and Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/jleagueofficial.English ) pages to find the competition and submit your vote. Remember: The club with the most combined retweets and shares wins our poll, so stuffing the ballot boxes and making sure all your friends see how wonderful your mascot of choice is, is just doing your mascot duty!

So, get to it! The title of club with the best mascot is in your loving and capable hands!

 

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2021 Fixture: Kawasaki Frontale vs. Gamba Osaka

The J.LEAGUE has announced that following the results of Emperor's Cup JFA 100th Japan Football Championship, the FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2021 fixture has been confirmed as follows.

Competition FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2021
Partner Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.
Date and
Kick-off time
20 February 2021 (Sat) 13:35
Venue Saitama Stadium 2002
Fixture Kawasaki Frontale 
(2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE Champions, Emperor's Cup JFA 100th Japan Football Champions)
 vs.
Gamba Osaka
 (2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE Runners-up)
Broadcaster Nippon TV (live)
Competition
Format
<Competition format and how winners will be determined>

In case the winner is not determined within 90 minutes (45 minutes halves), penalty shootouts will take place.

Up to 5 substitutions allowed, maximum of three opportunities to make substitutions during the match (with the exception of half-time).

 

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2021 Super Cup Partner, date, kick-off time and broadcaster

The J.League has announced that  Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. will be the Super Cup Partner for the 28th consecutive year, having started with the first competition in 1994.

The FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2021 will be held on 20 February, 2021 (Sat) at the Saitama Stadium 2002. This competition will mark the beginning of the 2021 season and as every year is expected to draw wide attention. The match will feature the 2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE champions Kawasaki Frontale and the 100th Emperor’s Cup winners (to be determined on 1 January, 2021).

■Competition
FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2021

■Partner
Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.

■Date and Kick-off time
20 February, 2021 (Sat) 13:35

■Venue
Saitama Stadium 2002

■Fixture
Kawasaki Frontale (2020 Meiji Yasuda J1 League champions)
vs.
100th Emperor’s Cup winners

■Broadcaster
Nippon TV (live)

■Competition Format

In case the winner is not determined within 90 minutes (45 minute halves), penalty shootouts will take place.
Up to 5 substitutions allowed, maximum of three opportunities to make substitutions during the match (with the exception of half-time).

 

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP recognized by the Guinness World Records™ as the “Longest sponsorship of a football (soccer) super cup”

The J.League announces that the FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP was recognized by the Guinness World Records TM as the “Longest sponsorship of a football (soccer) super cup”.
The Super Cup Partner Sponsorship with Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. began with the first edition in 1994 and the match on 20 February, 2021 (Sat) will be its 28th recurrence.

■ Guinness World Records™ details:
・Name of the records : Longest sponsorship of a football (soccer) super cup
・Length : 27 years
・Time period : 1994-2020
・Date : 17 December, 2020

■ FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP
The super cup, in which the J.League champions and Emperor’s Cup winners from the previous season face each other, started in 1994. Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. has been the partner since the first year, and the competition was held as XEROX SUPER CUP until 2008. The name was changed to FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP since 2009. Next year marks the 28th competition.

*Guinness World RecordsTM is a registered trademark of Guinness World Records Limited.

 

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

Kobe win season opener’s Super Cup for the first time after dramatic penalties shootout!

Vissel Kobe beat Yokohama F.Marinos at penalties to win the FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP at Saitama Stadium 2020 on Saturday.

As expected, the clash between two attack-minded teams produced an entertaining goal galore. First, Kobe’s Douglas broke the deadlock in the 27th minute assisted by Andres Iniesta.Yokohama equalized with Marcos Junior’s header in the 36th minute, but Kyogo Furuhashi reestablished Kobe’s lead just 4 minutes later.

F.Marinos were more dominant in the second half and were level again, courtesy of Takahiro Ogihara’s goal, in the 54th minute. Although they fell behind in the 69th minute, Erik tied the score for the third time in the 73rd minute. Yokohama then created a lot of chances to complete a comeback, but the champions were picked after the penalties shootout, as the 90 minutes ended on the 3-3 score.

The penalty series contributed to a thrilling afternoon for the fans, when eight consecutive kicks were missed by the third, fourth, fifth and sixth kickers of both sides. In the end, Kobe’s Hotaru Yamaguchi converted after Yokohama’s seventh kicker Keita Endo missed, to give the title to Vissel for the first time in their history.

 

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

The new season is here! The League champions and the Emperor’s Cup winners clash for the Super Cup on Saturday!

The 2020 season’s opener will not only be about victory: the quality of the performance will be an important factor for both teams.

Yokoahama F.Marinos have retained most of their key players from the past triumphant season. Their excellent passing and speedy attacks combine for a style of play that overwhelms the opposition. It will be interesting to see how they will integrate their new signings, especially Ado Onaiwu and Kota Mizunuma.

Meanwhile, the player to watch for Vissel Kobe is their new striker Douglas. Whether he can combine well with his new partners Kyogo Furuhashi and world-class playmaker Iniesta can be the key to success. To take advantage of the Brazilian’s aerial strength, Gotoku Sakai and Daigo Nishi will need to provide accurate crosses into the box. Their defensive quality as well will be tested, as they face one of the greatest firepower in the league.

We can expect several goals in a match between two sides boasting excellent attackers. Since Yokohama defeated Kobe twice in the past season, the Emperor’s Cup winners are surely eager to hit back, already from this opening match. The clash of talents will surely make this special game both exciting and full of quality football. 

 

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

Cerezo claim first title of season after Super Cup win

The FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2018 took place on Saturday at Saitama Stadium 2002, with Emperor’s Cup champions Cerezo Osaka defeating J.League champions Kawasaki Frontale 3-2 to claim the first title of the Japanese football season.

Cerezo set the pace in the rematch of the 2017 J.League YBC Levain Cup final, scoring in the 26th minute when Kenyu Sugimoto cleverly settled the ball at the post and set up Hotaru Yamaguchi for the opening goal. 

In the 48th minute, it was Sugimoto again with fine post play, assisting Hiroshi Kiyotake’s 2-0 score.

Frontale fought back soon after, with Shintaro Kurumaya drawing a foul in the penalty area when he was taken down by Cerezo newcomer and former South Korea international Yang Dong-hyun. 

Yu Kobayashi converted from the spot to make it 2-1, but Cerezo substitute Toshiyuki Takagi again expanded his team’s lead to two goals when he scored in the 78th minute.

Returning Frontale hero Yoshito Okubo made it close with a stoppage-time goal of his own, but the J.League champions were unable to find a third goal and ceded the Super Cup to the Kansai side.

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

Sanfrecce’s Sancce reclaims mascot crown

Sanfrecce Hiroshima mascot Sancce was declared winner of the 2017 J.League Mascot Election on Saturday, marking his second victory in the annual poll.

Over 840,000 fan votes were cast, with 2016 winner Vegatta of Vegalta Sendai finishing in second and Renofa Yamaguchi mascot Renomaru earning a surprising third.

“General Manager Osamu Adachi told me I had to win to encourage our players, so I hope I’ve contributed to the team,” Sancce wrote in a statement. 

“I hope that through more media appearances I will be able to promote Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

“I would like to thank everyone who voted for me and my fellow mascots. Let’s have a great J.League season this year!”

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

J.League U-18s fall in NEXT GENERATION MATCH

The J.League U-18 Selection fell 4-0 to the Japan High School Selection on Saturday morning in the NEXT GENERATION MATCH.

The J.League side attempted to set the pace early at Nissan Stadium led by FC Tokyo U-18 starlet Takefusa Kubo, but struggled against determined opposition.

Goals were scored by Riseisha striker Shuto Machino, Toko Gakuen midfielder Yoshiki Torikai, Yonako Kita striker Ryusei Ito and Nagasaki Institute of Applied Science striker Mizuki Ando.

The result extended the J.League’s winless streak in the NEXT GENERATION MATCH to a fifth year.

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

Suzuki sends Antlers past Reds

Yuma Suzuki sealed a dramatic 3-2 victory for Kashima Antlers against Urawa Reds in Saturday’s 2017 FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP.

The 2016 Japanese champions picked up their first silverware of the new year with the win over the side they beat en route to lifting their league title last term.

Yasushi Endo struck twice late in the first half to set Antlers on their way, blasting home a free-kick for the opener before notching his second four minutes later tucking home the rebound after Mu Kanazaki hit the post.

Reds were far from out of the tie, though, and roared back in the space of two minutes in the second half.

Shinzo Koroki pulled one back for Mihailo Petrovic’s men in the 74th minute and Takahiro Sekine equalised after Zlatan Ljubijankic’s effort came back off the post moments later.

Despite their fightback, Suzuki capitalised on chaos at the heart of Reds’ defence owing to Wataru Endo’s hesitation to ruthlessly net Antlers’ winner in the 83rd minute.

The victory for Masatada Ishii’s men represents their first SUPER CUP win since 2010, setting them up nicely for the start of their MEIJI YASUDA J1 League title defence against FC Tokyo on February 25.

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

Ishii: SUPER CUP represents our achievements last season

Kashima Antlers manager Masatada Ishii spoke to reporters on Friday ahead of his team’s FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2017 showdown against rivals Urawa Reds.

The J.League co-founders, who achieved historic results last season by winning the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League and Emperor’s Cup as well as finishing runners-up in the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup, will be looking to win the SUPER CUP for a record sixth time.

“Only teams who achieved great results last season can appear in this tournament so we’re glad we can be here,” Ishii said. 

“We’ve won the SUPER CUP five times but we’ve also lost it four times, so we want to go out tomorrow and put this year in the ‘win’ column.

“We didn’t have much time to train before we started playing matches, but it’s gone surprisingly well thus far. The new players have adjusted quickly and I expect a lot from them.”

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

Petrovic: We want to take the SUPER CUP home

Urawa Reds manager Mihailo Petrovic has promised aggressive football from his side this season, beginning with Saturday’s FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP match against Kashima Antlers.

The Serbian tactician won his first title with the Saitama Stadium residents since arriving in 2012 in the form of last year’s J.League YBC Levain Cup.

Ths time, he will be looking for revenge against the team who defeated his side in the MEIJI YASUDA J.League Championship.

“Kashima Antlers are a fantastic opponent and we want to have a great match and go home with the cup,” Petrovic commented.

“We prepared well in our preseason camp, but we won’t know what we have to improve until the season starts. This year we want to play more aggressive attacking football.”

J.LEAGUE News

SUPER CUP contenders showcase secondary kits

Saturday’s FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2017 will see both participants wearing their away kits in a tournament first.

Defending MEIJI YASUDA J1 League champions and Emperor’s Cup winners Kashima Antlers will take to the pitch in their alternate pink stripe, while league runners-up Urawa Reds will wear electric yellow.

The traditional curtain-opener to the J.League season will kick off at Yokohama’s Nissan Stadium at 13:35 JST.

FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP

Stadium navigation app to be trialed

The J.League on Wednesday announced the trial of a new stadium navigation app at Saturday’s FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2017 between Kashima Antlers and Urawa Reds at Yokohama’s Nissan Stadium.

Created by tournament sponsor NTT Docomo, the software is part of an ongoing project by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s National Spatial Planning and Regional Policy Bureau to develop precision guidance technology for indoor and outdoor areas.

The app will provide fans direct navigation to their seat including the fastest available routes, as well as guidance to concourse shops and restrooms.

J.LEAGUE News

Starlet Kubo to make NEXT GENERATION MATCH debut

The J.League on Monday announced its Under-18 squad for the upcoming FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2017 NEXT GENERATION MATCH.

The match features a selection of top players from J.League youth squads taking on a team of Japan’s top high school players.

FC Tokyo U-18 saw five players named to the squad, including former Barcelona academy striker Takefusa Kubo.

The match will kick-off at 10:20 JST at Nissan Stadium on February 18, just three hours Kashima Antlers and Urawa Reds face off in the FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2017.