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Thursday, 30 December 2010

S-Pulse 3-0 Gamba Osaka (Emp Cup Semi Final)

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 3-0 Gamba Osaka
Johnsen 19, 61
Hyodo 28

Att. 14179

Line Up

GK K. Yamamoto

DF Ichikawa
DF Iwashita
DF Bosnar
DF Ota

MF Hyodo
MF Honda
MF
Ono

FW Okazaki
FW Johnsen
FW Fujimoto

Subs Used

Ito T. on for Ono (69)
Omae on for Johnsen (77)
Yamamoto on for Hyodo (90)

Report

Blimey. Five days ago we hadn't even played our quarter final. Now we're two days away from a cup final day out in Tokyo. When you've spent most of the days in-between drunk and/or bloated on Christmas gorging, it's more than a little surreal. I guess that's the unique magic of the Emperor's Cup!

Kick off
We played with a confidence and verve that surprised even me. We battered Osaka for long periods, and when they did launch attacks of their own, Kaito, who has stepped into the space left by the injured Nishibe, displayed safe hands time and again. Ono was a class above as usual, and the impact of the lack of Endo for the visitors was clearly apparent. Johnsen seems to like Ecopa, and he was on hand again to nod home his second and third goals at the Fukuroi stadium this year.

I'll keep it short because I'm tired, hung over and worn out from all that sambaing. Well, we ran around with a purpose and intent I've not seen for a while. We swept around the field with confidence and always looked like winning. If we can recreate that on Saturday I've no doubt we can win it against the Antlers. We're yet to lose to Kashima this season and owe them for the 2000 final when they did us 3-2 after extra time.

It's our fourth Emperor's Cup final appearance, and nineth cup final in total. From those previous eight, we've won only two. If nothing else, the law of averages is on our side! Losing seven out of nine would be statistically improbable. Therefore, we're going to win. :)

You'd better believe it!

The 90th Emperor's Cup. 2010 Final: Kashima Antlers versus Shimizu S-Pulse. Two of the five ever-presents in J1 face off together for more than the Emperor's Cup title. Also at stake is the fourth and final ACL berth. The game is totally sold out but my ticket is safely stashed under my pillow, so you can be assured of a full report on Sunday (or sometime in February is we lose).

Videos

Soneone's video of Johnsen's opener.



I took a video which happily coincided with Hyodo's bullet strike.



The big fella makes it 3-0 with his second of the day.



Outs

While I'm here, Nagasawa and Hiroi have been loaned out to J2 outfit Roasso Kumamoto for a year, while Takagi has left for Consadole Sapporo.

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