After a week off Avispa went up to Hiroshima for the Emperors Cup trying to get a result which would hopefully raise spirits in the squad after 2 consecutive defeats.
The team lined up a little differently to the games against Kumamoto and Kashiwa, with Nagira and Suzuki Jun being brought into the team for Makoto and Genki, while Jumbo and Yusuke also started with Jogo and Kudo being dropped to the bench.
I suspect that Genki and Makoto were rested after playing a lot of games this season, while Jumbo and Yusuke stayed in the team after playing better than the players they replaced against Kumamoto.
Sanfrecce are currently comfortable in J1 (9th), and it will have surely given Avispa a big boost to their confidence to take the lead through Yusuke early in the 2nd half. Coming under attack at the end of the half, they conceded a goal just 2 minutes before the end despite having gone more defensive with Abe coming on for Suzuki.
It seemed like the momentum would probably be with Sanfrecce as they went to extra time, but Avispa again scored very shortly after the restart with another goal from Yutaka (having come on for Hideya). Unfortunately they again conceded a very late goal to take the game to penalties.
Avispa coming through the penalty shoot-out to set up a quarter final match against Omiya in the next round.
All players scored with it being won in sudden death with Sueyoshi calmly scoring. Interesting to see that despite being on the pitch Jogo didn’t take a penalty, it seems his confidence might be shot.
Penalty 1 : Yutaka, powerful shot down the middle.
Penalty 2 : Nakamachi, keeper guesses the right way but the shot is fortunately right in the corner.
Penalty 3 : Jumbo, gets lucky again as another penalty creeps under the keeper.
Penalty 4 : Abe, excellent penalty. Keeper goes the wrong way, powerfully hit.
Penalty 5 : Nakajima, keeps his nerve when a miss would have lost the game. Keeper goes the right way but find the corner.
Kamiyama save : Steps one way but moves the other and makes a good save from a weakly hit penalty.
Penalty 6 : Sueyoshi, Keeper moves early and Sueyoshi calmly scores the other side.