Print and go back ESPNsoccernet: Global Soccernet Print

Sunday, January 1, 2012
Tokyo reach Champions League

FC Tokyo joined Kashiwa Reysol, Nagoya Grampus and Gamba Osaka in the 2012 AFC Champions League by winning the Emperor's Cup with a 4-2 victory over Kyoto Sanga on Sunday in Tokyo.

Brazilian forward Lucas struck twice with Yasuyuki Konno and Masato Morishige scoring one each for the west Tokyo team's first success in the season-closing tournament.

Tokyo, who will play in the first division next season after winning the second division, began the game at a fast pace against their second division counterparts.

But it was Kyoto who found the net first when midfielder Hiroki Nakayama picked up a loose ball to cut inside the box and fire home in the 13th minute.

Tokyo equalised two minutes later when Japan defender Konno headed in a cross from Naohiro Ishikawa.

Tokyo, marshalled by former Japan midfielder Naoyuki Hanyu, took the lead in the 36th minute as Morishige added the finishing touch following an Ishikawa free-kick. Lucas made it 3-1 with his 42nd minute strike from close range.

Kyoto tried to rally after the break with good efforts from 19-year-old attackers Yoshinari Komai and Yuya Kubo.

But Tokyo added a fourth in the 66th minute as Lucas' scored his second from a tight angle to give them a 4-1 lead.

Kyoto did not give up and went close with efforts from Kohei Kudo, Takayuki Fukumura and Jung Woo Young.

They were rewarded in the 71st minute when Kubo headed in from a Jung corner. The Korean midfielder also hit the bar in added time.

Tokyo's out-going manager Kiyoshi Okuma said: "We played the game as we wanted to play, to some extent, and Hanyu took the pace to put pressure on to our opponents.

"I had a strong desire to take this team to Asia. I'm grateful to our players to make that happen.

"I always felt it important that a team from a capital city competes in the world, and you cannot do that if you cannot reach Asia to feel the distance from the rest of the world. I knew our players are capable of doing that.

"I hope they can get stronger next season and retain the tournament.''

ESPNsoccernet: Help | Media Kit | Contact Us | Site Map | Tools | Jobs at ESPN | Supplier Information | Copyright ©2014 ESPN Internet Ventures.
Terms of Use (Updated 5/6/08), and Privacy Policy and Safety Information/Your California Privacy Rights are applicable to you. All rights reserved.