The Js Goal website now includes a video clip of highlights from Ardija youth's 2-1 extra time defeat to FC Tokyo in the Semi-Finals of the Sahara Cup, including Haruhiro Kawagishi's stunning long-range equaliser for the mini Squirrels.
Just to confirm Steve's comment, the fantastic run in the Sahara Cup competition by Omiya Ardija's youth team was finally brought to an end on Saturday at the Semi-Final stage. The Mini Squirrels were eliminated 2-1 by FC Tokyo youth in the tie at Kobe, although the defeat came about in the most agonising of circumstances. The Gasheads had led from as early as the tenth minute, only for Ardija forward Haruhiro Kawagishi to level things up with seconds to spare. But an extra time winner from the penalty spot saw Tokyo through to face Kashiwa Reysol in the Final.
As Steve has pointed out, Omiya Ardija youth team continued their impressive progress in the Sahara Cup competition on Sunday, as they crushed Cerezo Osaka U18s 4-1 in Osaka to reach the last four. Following on from his brace in last weekend's 3-2 defeat of Kyoto Sanga, star striker Daisuke Watabe rattled in a hat-trick with Tomoki Imai grabbing the other Squirrels goal late on. The Semi-Finals on Saturday see Ardija paired up with FC Tokyo while Gamba Osaka take on Kashiwa Reysol; the Final itself is on Christmas Eve.
Omiya Ardija youth team continued their impressive progress in this season's Sahara Cup competition at Omiya Koen on Saturday afternoon, eliminating Kyoto Sanga with a 3-2 win to go through to the Second Round of the knock-out phase. Forward Daisuke Watabe, who has been awarded a pro contract and will join the first team squad in 2008, scored twice before Haruhiro Kawagishi netted what turned out to be the winner in 59th minute. The mini-Squirrels will learn their next opponents tomorrow, when Cerezo Osaka take on FC Miyagi Barcelona.
A brief heads-up for the Sahara Cup competition and the continuing success of the Ardija youth team. After having battled through the Group Stage, mini-Squirrels are into the knock-out tournament and on Saturday take on Kyoto Sanga at Omiya Koen, knowing that a win will see them through to a tie against either Cerezo Osaka or FC Miyagi Barcelona in the last eight a week on Sunday. The final will be held on Christmas Eve; the fixtures and results are below:
Final Stage First Round
Sun 02 Dec: Aichi FC 0-1 Gamba Sun 02 Dec: Chiba SC 2-1 JEF Final Stage Second Round
Sat 08 Dec: FC Tokyo - Chiba SC Sat 08 Dec: Oita - Kashima Sat 08 Dec: Omiya - Kyoto
Sun 09 Dec: Cerezo - FC Miyagi Barcelona Sun 09 Dec: Kashiwa - Urawa Sun 09 Dec: Marinos - Gamba Sun 09 Dec: Nagoya - Hiroshima Sun 09 Dec: Verdy - Estrela Himeji FC
Omiya Ardija youth team beat Mito Hollyhock youth 3-1 in their Sahara Cup fixture at the weekend, and in attendance was friend of GGOA Vendo The Fastlane, who very kindly took his camera along and sent some pictures for upload on the site. You can read the dramatic story of Vendo's trip to (and indeed from) the match on his blog, here, but here's a small selection of his handiwork.