WORLD CUP YEAR HAS STARTED
It was JFA Tenno-hai Final when I selected as the first entry this year with telling you A HAPPY NEW YEAR ! There stood Urawa Red Diamonds and Shimizu S-pulse at the National Stadium in Tokyo on New Year Day. Urawa possesed during the game but wasn't able to be given shooting chances by Shimizu, who ,in counterpart, stealed the ball from the opponent right before the white shirt constantly sent long balls to the space for behind the red shirt's' backline.
Then S-pulse was working well in style to make me think it score a goal. But it was Reds who got a chance to score from the set-play. Japanese International Alessandro Santos' ball from the left found defenceman Satoshi Horinouchi's head to the net after Shimizu had defended it from there once. Moreover, into the 2nd, Guido Buchwald's men had little of oppotunity of a decisive addition until Croatian striker Tomislav Maric slided to shoot a cross from midfielder Robson Ponte, despite Kenta Hasegawa's men developed offences from Korean striker Cho Jae-jin. It was too late when substitute Daisuke Ichikawa scored from the set-play for Shimizu. S-pulse wasn't able to get it back after substitute Kohei Hiramatsu was sent off for booked twice.
Urawa had achieved the first Emperor's Cup since the 1981 team did. But red midfielders could not have attracted me at all this day while Shimizu had more exciting offences Cho or Korean Choi Tae-uk made. The loser might have more comfortably past the Year of the FIFA World Cup, if with two Korean Internatinals.
85th JFA Tenno-hai
Final at National Stadium (1 Jan)
Urawa 2-1 Shimizu