The FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP 2018 took place on Saturday at Saitama Stadium 2002, with Emperor’s Cup champions Cerezo Osaka defeating J.League champions Kawasaki Frontale 3-2 to claim the first title of the Japanese football season.
Cerezo set the pace in the rematch of the 2017 J.League YBC Levain Cup final, scoring in the 26th minute when Kenyu Sugimoto cleverly settled the ball at the post and set up Hotaru Yamaguchi for the opening goal.
In the 48th minute, it was Sugimoto again with fine post play, assisting Hiroshi Kiyotake’s 2-0 score.
Frontale fought back soon after, with Shintaro Kurumaya drawing a foul in the penalty area when he was taken down by Cerezo newcomer and former South Korea international Yang Dong-hyun.
Yu Kobayashi converted from the spot to make it 2-1, but Cerezo substitute Toshiyuki Takagi again expanded his team’s lead to two goals when he scored in the 78th minute.
Returning Frontale hero Yoshito Okubo made it close with a stoppage-time goal of his own, but the J.League champions were unable to find a third goal and ceded the Super Cup to the Kansai side.