Kashima win Emperor’s Cup to complete double

Tokyo (AFP) – Kashima Antlers completed Japan’s double on Sunday by beating Kawasaki Frontale 2-1 in the Emperor’s Cup final.

Kashima, who won their eighth J-League title last month, crushed Kawasaki as midfielder Fabricio dos Santos Messias struck a goal in the fourth minute into extra time.

“All I was thinking was to help the team as a member and that led to the goal,” the Brazilian player told public broadcaster NHK. 

“I’m very happy,” he said.

Kashima coach Masatada Ishii said the players “did their best”.

“They really wanted to win this title,” he added.

Two weeks ago, Kashima became the first Japanese team to reach the final of the Club World Cup, featuring continental champions, after beating South American champions Atletico Nacional. 

But the Japanese team was beaten by Real Madrid as Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo smashed a hat-trick.

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