07 October 2007

Mito 1 - 0 Kanazawa

Mito defeated Hokushin'etsu league side Zweigen Kanazawa thanks to a set play goal from Jun Muramatsu. Mito can go on to the next round of the Emperor's Cup, which is a marked improvement over last year's first round loss to the regional league team Shizuoka FC.

While I thought the team played well against one of the biggest giant killers of the tournament, coach Maeda and the players gave comments insisting that the day would have been lost against any J. League team with that level of play.

A strong contingent of Kanazawa fans, numbering nearly 100, brought the first instance of a Mito Emperor's Cup home game of over 1000 in attendance.

A drawing will be held on Thursday to decide the next round's opponent for the next round to be played on November 4. All of today's winners would surely hope to be placed against Kofu, who seem like the smallest obstacle to advancement in the tournament, or Kobe, who would be the away team in any match up. Mito has never beaten a J1 team in the Emperor's Cup, coming closest a few years ago, losing 0 - 1 to prefectural rivals (in spirit, as the teams play each other in only one exhibition match a year) Kashima Antlers.

Interestingly, the only J2 teams not to advance in the tournament are the 4 at the top of the standings: Sapporo, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Sendai. There are still 5 non-professional teams left in the tournament in their place, being Sagawa Transport, TDK SC, Honda FC, Juntendo University, and Meiji University. However, these teams are all very respected company teams or university teams and nobody should consider them to be a sure loss.

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