Nagoya 2-2 S-Pulse (aet)
Ogawa 72 ------------------ Takagi Y 65
Nagai 82 -------------------- Takagi T 67
S-Pulse win 5-3 on penalties
Mizuho Stadium, Nagoya
DF Jakovic (79)
MF Takagi Y
FW Takagi T
Mizutani on for Takagi Y(76)
Lee Ki-Je on for Kawai (81)
Murata on for Ishige (106)
No classic, but the only thing that matters is that we squeezed through. On balance we probably deserved it, especially away from home. Defending on their goals was cause for concern, though. That said, we were solid as a rock from set pieces, so credit where it's due, we may be heading in the right direction.
Without Novakovic we were left to juggle a bit up front, especially given the lack of anything approaching what can be called height. You have to work with what you've got though, and that we did. Both goals came via decent approach play on the ground, and the brothers Takagi put their respective goals away very tidily indeed. Given the chances we made we should have had the game beyond Nagoya's reach going into the final 15 minutes, but I can't really moan. An away win (draw, but you know) for the second Emperor's Cup tie in a row, both against in-form teams.
The semi final will be in Tokyo, so neutral ground for whoever we face (Omiya or G. Osaka). But just when the traditionally-ignored-by-the-masses-until-the-final Emperor's Cup is starting to get interesting, the semi final is scheduled for a Wednesday night. Go figure. Well, I don't doubt we'll still get ridiculously over excited and subsequently heartbroken. That's what this wonderful, pointless, beautiful, infuriating, gorgeous game called football is all about.
Got a bit of time on your hands? Why not watch the whole 90 minutes? Via YouTube user, nay YouTube legend, Terukaza Oyama. Amazing work, that man. First half, part one:
First half, part two:
Second half, part one:
Second half, part two:
No extra time I'm afraid, but you can jump straight to the penalties courtesy of YouTuber JagdOrkus:
BARRY WRITES... I really should have thought of doing this as soon as highlights became available officially on YouTube a while back. Be...