At last, the Cup final was help this weekend. Two teams with polarising standings in the table, Hibernian FC and Lions FC faced off at Shigaku.
Hibs beat Guapo, Kanto Celts, Panthers, British Embassy to reach the final. Lions beat King George, Eastern Capital, Suns, YC&AC to get to the final. Both teams had a luxurious line up, with so many footballers with long resumes. Just looking at the rosters made it apparent that the game was going to be a fierce one.
The game's score line was opened up by Lions Vice Captain, Tomoyoshi Tsuchiya, an ex-pro who has been on the team for 5 years now. Beating 2 players with a brilliant first touch, he slots the ball past Masaharu Kawahara, another ex-pro who has been Hibernian FC's reliable shot stopper over the years. Lions hold onto their 1-0 lead for the first half.
In the second half, a brilliant through ball was played to Sukui Ono, who got to the ball just in time and get a touch on it past the keeper. The keeper ended up clipping Sukui in the process giving up a crucial penalty. Felicien Dumas, a new (and perhaps one of the youngest) players that joined Hibs this season, was trusted with the penalty. He slots it away with no hesitation, making it his 4th goal in the cup run.
Lion's Shogo Katayama retakes the lead which was only shortly followed by Hibs veteran Hiroaki Shibusawa equalising.
Full time score, 2-2. The game was going to be determined by penalties. Even though both teams were clawing at each others throats during the game, it did seem like both teams developed a mutual respect for one another at the end of full time. Some players even joking with the other team during penalties reflected that, win or lose, both teams did put on a great preformance.
The penalties was full of twists and turns. With both keepers saving a few, the penalty shoot out went to sudden death after 5 were taken. Lion's keeper, Eisuke Noguchi, who has made several saves through out the game, stops the final penalty to give Lions the win.
Congratulations to Lions for winning the Robert Walters Team Of The Week and congratulations to them winning the ESR FJ Cup for the first time!