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Monday, 16 November 2009

Emperor's Cup 4th Round gives us its views on the Emperor's Cup and its need to make the draw a bit more exciting. This year has seen an improvement over recent years, but the JFA still needs to do better. (Hopefully, next year will see the Nabisco Cup also be made more relevant, by making t a genuine J.League CUp and having both J1 and J2 teams participate.)

Kashima Antlers 2 - 1 Vissel Kobe
(Antlers - Nozawa 55', Danilo 88', Vissel - Ishibitsu 48')

Sagan Tosu 1 - 3 Gamba Osaka
(Sagan - Havenaar 47', Gamba - Lucas 9', Pedro Júnior 40', Myojin 50')

Yokohama F. Marinos 1 - 2 Kawasaki Frontale
(FM - Yamase 57', Frontale - Juninho 32', Yajima 85'

F.C. Tokyo 0 - 3 Vegalta Sendai
(Nakahara 25', Nakashima 59', Marcelo Soares 89')

F.C. Gifu 1 - 0 JEF United Ichihara Chiba
(Yoshimoto 45' )

Nagoya Grampus 3 - 1 Júbilo Iwata
(Nagoya - Yoshimura 42', Yoshida 52', Sugimoto 83', Jubilo - Cullen 5')

Meiji University 1 - 3 Albirex Niigata
(Meiji - Yamamoto 46', Niigata - Oshima 16', Yano Goal 40' & 64')

Shimizu S-Pulse 3 - 0 Ventforet Kofu
(Hara 33', own goal 49', Nagasawa 55')

The quarter finals look like this:

Kashima Antlers v. Gamba Osaka
Kawasaki Frontale v. Vegalta Sendai
F.C. Gifu v. Nagoya Grampus
Albirex Niigata v. Shimizu S-Pulse

The winners of the top two ties play each other and, as can be seen, the three favourites are all in that half of the last eight :-( The bottom half of the quarters shows us that Gifu have a chance to make it "only" having to beat Nagoya and Albirex or S-Pulse to book a final place.... we can but dream.

But isn't it about time the Emperor's Cup went to a drawing format in every round - -la-FA Cup and other tournaments around the world. Once the first round is played, all teams go in the hat for a random draw, the first team in each tie being pulled out of the bag getting the home advantage? Logical, more fun for the fans and a little more exciting as there would be more chances of smaller teams getting their chance of a hit on a big team!!

The current pre-determined draw is boring and predictable, as well as often throwing up, for example, F Marinos vs. FC Tokyo in Kyushu!! What's the point?

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Anonymous said...

I think we have been through this whole discussion before, but regarding draws for the Emperor's Cup . . . you do realise that the stadiums have to be booked 3-4 months in advance . . . right?

I recall Alan going off on this rant once in the past, but until J.League teams own their own stadiums (which isnt likely to happen any time soon), they wont be able to ensure that the venue is available to host a match that is only drawn one or two weeks in advance. They have to book the venues first, and hope the teams end up advancing to the right spots. Personally I think they made a huge step forward by booking what are essentially "regional venues" for the 1/4finals on, and assigning teams to the venue after the fact.

Drawing venues every round may be a nice idea . . . . for a European league anyway. But it ignores the basic realities of football in Japan.

Besides, by having Urawa Reds play FC Tokyo in Kagoshima, youre also helping to develop the markets for local teams. If Momotaro Stadium hadnt been such a frequent host of Emperor's Cup matches over the past decade, would they have a team like Fagiano today? Maybe so, but either way Im sure the exposure to J1 competition had an impact.

Alan said...

Good points Mr. Anonymous - I learned a few things.... still not sure it's a good thing (very low attendances, but they're low at Kashima or Big Arch, too, so it's not the grounds that are at fault)... as you siad, it's about time the teams had their own stadiums! That'll take a while but would be a good thing.

richy said...

I think if a J2 team plays a J1 team then if possible that game should be played at the J2 teams ground.
I mean shit all people would turn up to watch say Kashima vs Gifu in Ibaraki, but put it the at Gifu and you'd have a sell-out!
Great for spectators, probably a bit more of an even game, and great financially for struggling J2 clubs.
Still, not sure how much they could manage that with having to book stadiums 3-4 months in advance..