J.League chairman Mitsuru Murai congratulated Urawa Reds and their hero Tadanari Lee for winning Saturday’s 2016 Levain Cup final against Gamba Osaka.
Mihailo Petrovic’s men lifted their first silverware under the Serbian when they overcame Gamba 5-4 in a penalty shootout, after the scores were tied at 1-1 after extra time.
And Murai praised them for their resolve ending their trophy drought spanning since 2007 when they last lifted the AFC Champions League.
“I would like to congratulate Urawa Reds on winning their second J.League Cup, and becoming the first champions of the newly-rebranded J.League YBC Levain Cup,” he stated.
“Today’s final was a close contest all the way to the last penalty kick, as befits a matchup featuring two of Japan’s top clubs.
“Both teams played well until the end, but Urawa Reds triumphed thanks to Mihail Petrovic’s keen decision to send on Tadanari Lee, who inspired his team with his crucial equaliser.
“I believe that this title, Urawa’s first in nearly a decade, will inspire the team to even greater heights.
“The 2016 season is approaching its climax, and I hope that they will soon lead the league again as one of our biggest clubs.
“Next year will mark the 25th edition of the tournament, an incredibly important milestone. I hope we can help it grow into a competition worthy of its history as well as Yamazaki Biscuit Co’s continuous support.
“Last but not least, I would like to thank the many officials in Saitama Prefecture without whom today’s match would not have been possible.”