Nagoya & Gamba Osaka reach the Emperor’s Cup final

Nagoya Grampus Eight 1* – Shimizu S-Pulse 1 (Pens. 5-3) (Emperor’s Cup semi-final, December 29, 2009) Serial-goalscorer Shinji Okazaki latched onto a long straight punt down field to fired Shimizu into an 18th minute lead, but the hosts drew level just before the hour through Keiji Tamada’s penalty. The match went to extra time and then penalties, where the hosts held their nerve to advance into Japanese Cup final.

Gamba Osaka 2 – Vegalta Sendai 1 (Emperor’s Cup semi-final, December 29, 2009) Lucas’ bicycle kick opened the scoring in the fifth minute after Sendai goalkeeper Takuto Hayashi could only punch Michihiro Yasuda’s cross to the edge of the area. Second division Sendai fought back when Takayuki Nakahara slotted home Sekiguchi’s cross just before the hour mark. But Gamba remained composed and Hideo Hashimoto set up Lucas to fire home with 24 minutes remaining.