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Monday, January 2, 2012

Emperor's Cup Champions!

Kyoto 2 - 4 FC Tokyo
Thanks to Dan for this pic from the pitch!
FC Tokyo romped to the club's first-ever Emperor's Cup today with a 4-2 win over Kyoto at the National Stadium.

After falling behind to a 13th minute strike from Hiroki Nakayama, The Gasmen equalized with a header from captain Yasuyuki Konno two minutes later, and took the lead for good thanks to a 30 yard thunderbolt from Masato Morishige in the 36th minute. Three minutes before halftime Lucas showed great composure to fire past the advancing Kyoto 'keeper for 3-1, a lead we took to the sheds for oranges. Then 21 minutes into the second half the big Brazilian settled matters with another smart finish, this time taking Kenta Mukuhara's first-time layoff and dinking the ball over the keeper.

Impressive Kyoto youngster Yuya Kubo brought it back to 4-2 with a 71st minute header, but that was all Kyoto could muster, and The Gasmen played out time fairly comfortably to spark huge celebrations at the final whistle, with the club securing its first-ever Emperor's Cup, a wonderful way for manager Kiyoshi Okuma to leave his role before he moves upstairs.

The win also means The Gasmen have qualified to play in Asia's premier club tournament, the Asian Champions League, for the first time in 2012, and as Emperor's Cup winners we have been placed in Group F, with Brisbane, Ulsan and Beijing.

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