Kobe win first Emperor's Cup

The new decade began in Japan with Vissel Kobe lifting their first-ever piece of silverware as they overcame Kashima Antlers to win the Emperor's Cup. The club who have only been members of the J League since 1997 won the match 2-0 at the newly opened Japan National Stadium. 

Won by two lucky goals 

The match itself was not the most entertaining with neither side able to carve out many opportunities. Kashima Antlers where poor though and the deserved winners on the day came out on top in front of a crowd of nearly 60,000.

It was to be a final won by two of the scrappiest goals you are likely to see, in truth if your mate in a game down the park made the errors Antlers keeper Kwoun Sun-Tae made you'd stop talking for weeks.

The second was not to be much better as Nishi put in a non-threatening cross, this though deflected off the legs on the Antlers defender Machida. It then found the path of Fujimoto who slotted it home almost without realising.

Both goals came in the first half and to be honest the second 45 did not see much action but with Kashima Antlers unable to get any hold of the match it was won in the first half.

Just the beginning

They always say it does not matter how you win a cup final it is just that you do. That was no more the case as with Vissel Kobe who am sure will be ecstatic with their first-ever major trophy.

The win is a start to the repayment that Rakuten as so far put into the club as the Barcelona sponsors looks to create the best club in Asia. The money as seen big names come to the club such as Podolski, Iniesta and David Villa. The latter in fact played his last game in professional football as he made a cameo appearance in the last few minutes. 

Away from the ageing star names from Europe, the club is really starting to build a side that could challenge for the title. They will need to invest in the close season as they look to maintain a title challenge along with a first-ever Asian Champions League campaign. 

Check out some of Alex Bishop's photos from the cup final below; (click on the dots to scroll for each photo)

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