FC Tokyo crowned League Cup champions

Japan Soccer

FC Tokyo crowned League Cup champions.

FC Tokyo crowned League Cup champions

FC Tokyo have been crowned 2009 Yamazaki Nabisco League Cup champions after beating Kawasaki Frontale 2-0 in the final in Tokyo on November 3.

Before a sell-out crowd of 44,308 fans at a packed National Stadium, teenage midfielder Takuji Yonemoto opened the scoring with a swerving long-range drive that appeared to catch Kawasaki goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima off-guard.

Yonemoto had been honoured with the competition's "New Hero" award on the eve of the match, and he added the Man Of The Match crown for good measure thanks to a commanding midfield display.

The languid midfield anchorman kept Kawasaki playmaker Kengo Nakamura well shackled throughout, and by the time FC Tokyo added a second goal through towering striker Sota Hirayama just before the hour mark, the trophy was destined to stay in the capital.

Defeat leaves Kawasaki still searching for their first major title and marks the second time in three seasons that the Kanagawa outfit have lost the League Cup final.

Coach Takashi Sekizuka will need to rejuvenate his side ahead of a tense J. League title race, with Kawasaki just a point above defending champions Kashima Antlers with four games remaining.

The plaudits belong to FC Tokyo for the time being, as Hiroshi Jofuku's side claim a second League Cup trophy having also won the tournament back in 2004.

Copyright © Michael Tuckerman & Soccerphile.com

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