Kawasaki advance to quarterfinals with win over Kochi - Emperor's Cup JFA 103rd Japan Football Championship
03 August 2023
On Wednesday, 2 August, the round of 16 fixtures of the Emperor's Cup JFA 103rd Japan Football Championship took place at various locations, determining the eight teams advancing to the quarterfinals. At Kochi Haruno Athletic Stadium, Kochi United SC (Kochi), who have won back-to-back matches against J1 clubs, squared off against Kawasaki Frontale (J1).
Kawasaki Frontale 1-0 (0-0, 1-0) Kochi United SC
It was Kawasaki who controlled the ball possession from the early minutes, but Kochi showed great aggression to apply pressure from the frontline, anticipating for their opportunities from counterattacks. In the 18th minute, the ball was delivered across the Kawasaki goalmouth, nearly connecting with the players in the box, followed by another opportunity created in the 27th minute, when Kochi’s KOBAYASHI Kokoro responded to a through ball to threaten the Kawasaki goal.
Kawasaki also had their share of opportunities, including KOBAYASHI Yu’s attempt to convert the cross sent by YAMANE Miki in the 35th minute, but both teams fell short from finding the back of the net in the first half.
Kochi came close to taking the lead just before the hour mark, when TOYA Toshiki won the ball in the midfield and carried the ball upfront to strike a shot. Kawasaki goalkeeper JUNG Sung Ryong made a fine save to deny this attempt before his defenders cleared the ball to prevent Kobayashi Kokoro from converting the loose ball.
The decisive moment arrived in the 80th minute, when late substitute, SASAKI Asahi, converted a corner kick to put Kawasaki in the lead. This goal proved to be the game winner for the J1 side, as Kawasaki advanced to the quarterfinals.
Coaches and Players' Comments
ONIKI Toru, Head Coach (Kawasaki Frontale)
This was an exciting game that could have gone either way. We wanted to take the initiative by scoring an early goal but struggled to do so. However, the players did well to maintain their composure throughout the match. We knew that we would have more opportunities from set-pieces as we gain more control over the ball possession, so I am glad we were able to capitalise on them. We are aware that the Emperor's Cup is a challenging competition, and I believe the players have shown great desire to win the match.
KOBAYASHI Yu (Kawasaki Frontale)
We knew this was going to be a difficult match against a defensive team, so I am glad that we were able to win. I personally had some close opportunities, but when the cross came in, the lights were in my eyes, and I was unable to see anything. I am in the phase of extending my playing time and regaining my game intuition. The team’s atmosphere after the match was very positive and it was a match that reminded us of the importance of winning.
YOSHIMOTO Takafumi, Head Coach (Kochi United SC)
We were anticipating spending a lot of time in defence, so we were hoping to capitalise on the few opportunities we had. The players played very well, and I hope they will make the most of this experience of playing against the J1 and Emperor's Cup champions. We were able to play excellent defence and execute our counterattacks as planned during these three games against J1 clubs. However, as a team that is striving to play in the J.League, we must learn how to take control of the game, just like how Frontale did in today’s match.
YOKOTAKE Tsubasa (Kochi United SC)
This is a really painful loss. We performed really well as a team to prevent our opponents from making chances while also creating our own opportunities, despite having to endure some difficult periods. That is why it is so disappointing to concede from a corner kick. We truly wanted to share the win with all the people who came out to support us. We intend to make the most from this experience in order to develop into a stronger squad that can receive such a large amount of support during league games as well.
Emperor's Cup JFA 103rd Japan Football Championship
【1st Round】Sat. 20, Sun. 21 May [Backup date: Mon. 22 May]
【2nd Round】Wed. 7, Wed. 14, Wed. 21 June
【3rd Round】Wed. 12 July [Backup date: Wed. 19, Wed. 26 July]
【Round of 16】Wed. 2 August [Backup date: Wed. 9 August]
【Quarterfinals】Wed. 30 August［Backup date: Wed. 13 September］
【Semi-Finals】Sun. 8 October
【Final】Sat. 9 December
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