J. League Cup

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J. League Cup
Yamazaki Nabisco Cup logo.gif
Yamazaki Nabisco Cup
Founded 1992; 22 years ago (1992)
Region  Japan
Number of teams 18
Current champions Kashiwa Reysol
Most successful club(s) Kashima Antlers (5 titles)
Television broadcasters Fuji TV
Website www.j-league.or.jp/yncup/
2014 J. League Cup

J. League Cup is a Japanese football (soccer) competition organized by J. League. It is the oldest professional domestic football competition in Japan. It is also known as Yamazaki Nabisco Cup or Nabisco Cup because confectionery/bakery company Yamazaki Nabisco (the Japanese Nabisco licensee) have sponsored the competition since its inception in 1992.

It is generally regarded as the Japanese equivalent to league cup competitions played in many countries such as the Football League Cup in England. Before the J. League Cup was created, the old Japan Soccer League had its own 'Japan Soccer League Cup since the 1976 season.

The tournament format varies almost each year largely depending on the schedule of international matches such as the Olympic games and World Cup games (see the "Format" section below).

Since 2007, the winners are qualified for the Suruga Bank Championship held in the following summer.

Format[edit]

Early years (1992–1998)[edit]

1992
The founding 10 clubs of the J. League participated as a warm-up to the upcoming inaugural league season. At the group stage, each team played the other teams once. There was no draw and the golden goal, extra time and penalty shootout were employed to decided a tie if necessary. A sudden death was applied to the penalty shoot-out from the first kicker. The winner of a game got four points. A team who scored two or more goals in a game also won one point. The top four teams of the group stage went on to the knock-out stage where the ties were single matches.
1993
Thirteen teams (the ten J. League sides as well as the three JFL sides who had J. League associate membership) took part. At the group stage, the teams were divided into two groups, one consisting seven and the other consisting six. Each team played the other teams in the same group once. The top two teams of each group were qualified for the knock-out stage where the ties were single matches.
1994
Fourteen teams (the twelve J. League sides as well as the two JFL sides who had J. League associate membership) took part. There was no group stage. The ties were single matches all through the competition.
1995
No competition
1996
The sixteen J. League sides participated. J. League associate member team did not take part due to the congested schedule. At the group stage, the teams were divided into two groups. Each team played the other teams in the same group twice (home and away). A tie was decided by the aggregate of two matches. The winner of a tie got three points and a draw earned one point. The top two teams of each group were qualified for the knock-out stage where the ties were single matches.
1997
Twenty teams (all the J. League clubs and the JFL clubs with J. League associate membership) participated. At the group stage, the teams were divided into five groups. Each team played the other teams in the same group once. A win earned three points, a draw earned one point. There was no extra time at this stage. The top team of each group as well as the three second-placed teams with the best records were qualified for the knock-out stage where the ties were played over two matches (home and away). Although Sagan Tosu had forfeited their associate membership because of the bankruptcy of their forerunner Tosu Futures, they were allowed to enter the competition as a special case.
1998
Twenty teams (all the J. League clubs and the JFL clubs with J. League associate membership) participated. At the group stage, the teams were divided into four groups. Each team played the other teams in the same group once. The top team of the each group was qualified for the knock-out stage where the ties were single matches.

As tournaments for J1 and J2 (1999-–2001)[edit]

1999
All the twenty-six J1 and J2 clubs participated. There was no group stage. The ties were played over two matches (home and away) except the final where the winners were decided by a single game.
2000
All the twenty-seven J1 and J2 clubs participated. There was no group stage. The ties were played over two matches (home and away) except the final where the winners were decided by a single game.
2001
All the twenty-eight J1 and J2 clubs participated. There was no group stage. The ties were played over two matches (home and away) except the final where the winners were decided by a single game.

As tournaments for only J1 (2002–)[edit]

2002
All the sixteen J1 teams took part. At the group stage, the teams were divided into four groups. Each team played the other teams in the same group twice. The top two teams of the each group were qualified for the knock-out stage where the ties were single matches.
2003
All the sixteen J1 teams took part. Kashima Antlers and Shimizu S-Pulse were exempted from the group stage because they participated in the AFC Champions League. The remaining fourteen teams were divided into four groups, two groups containing four teams and the other two groups containing three. The top team of the each group and the second placed teams of the groups containing four teams as well as Kashima and Shimizu were qualified for the knock-out stage. The ties were played over two matches (home and away) except the final where the winners were decided by a single game.
2004
All the sixteen J1 teams took part. At the group stage, the teams were divided into four groups. Each team played the other teams in the same group twice. The top two teams of the each group were qualified for the knock-out stage where the ties were single matches.
2005
All the eighteen J1 teams took part. Yokohama F. Marinos and Jubilo Iwata were exempted from the group stage because they participated in the AFC Champions League. The remaining sixteen teams were divided into four groups. Each team played the other teams in the same group twice. The top team of the each group and the two second-placed teams with the best records as well as Marinos and Iwata were qualified for the knock-out stage. The ties were played over two matches (home and away) except the final where the winners were decided by a single game. From this year's competition, the golden goal rule was abolished and the extra time was always played for thirty minutes.
2006
All the eighteen J1 teams took part. Gamba Osaka were exempted from the group stage because they participated in the 2006 AFC Champions League. The remaining seventeen teams were divided into four groups, three of them containing four teams and the other containing five teams. Each team played the other teams in the same group twice but only one game was played between some pairs of teams in the group containing five teams. The top team of the each group and the three second placed teams with the best records as well as Gamba Osaka were qualified for the knock-out stage. The ties were played over two matches (home and away) except the final where the winners were decided by a single game. The away goal rule was employed for this year's competition but it was not applied to a goal in the extra time.
2007
The format of the 2007 competition was similar to that of 2006's, but the number of clubs participating from the group stage has been decreased to 16 due to two clubs', Kawasaki Frontale and Urawa Red Diamonds, participation in the 2007 AFC Champions League. See 2007 J. League Cup for details.
2008
The format of the 2008 competition was similar to that of 2007's. See 2008 J. League Cup for details.
2009
The format of the 2009 group stage was changed due to the number of clubs participating 2009 AFC Champions League increased from two to four. 14 remaining clubs were divided into two groups with seven clubs each, then two top clubs of each group were qualified for the knock-out stage. See 2009 J. League Cup for more details.
2010
The format of the 2010 competition was same as that of 2009's. See 2010 J. League Cup for details.
2011
Although the format of the 2011 competition is planned to be same as that of 2009's and 2010's, it was abandoned due to 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and replaced by a format without group stage (five knockout stages only). See 2011 J. League Cup for details.

Prizes[edit]

  • Champions: J. League Cup, Yamazaki Nabisco Cup, Champion medals and 100 million yen
  • Runners-up: J. League Shield, Runner-up medals and 50 million yen
  • 3rd place (2 clubs): J. League Shield and 20 million yen for each 3rd placed club

Finals[edit]

Year Winners Score Runners-up Venue
1992 Verdy Kawasaki 1–0 Shimizu S-Pulse National Olympic Stadium
1993 Verdy Kawasaki 2–1 Shimizu S-Pulse National Olympic Stadium
1994 Verdy Kawasaki 2–0 Júbilo Iwata Kobe Universiade Memorial Stadium
1995 Not played
1996 Shimizu S-Pulse 3–3
(5–4 pen.)
Verdy Kawasaki National Olympic Stadium
1997 Kashima Antlers 2–1
5–1

7–2 agg.
Júbilo Iwata 1st leg: Yamaha Stadium
2nd leg: Kashima Soccer Stadium
1998 Júbilo Iwata 4–0 JEF United Ichihara National Olympic Stadium
1999 Kashiwa Reysol 2–2
(5–4 pen.)
Kashima Antlers National Olympic Stadium
2000 Kashima Antlers 2–0 Kawasaki Frontale National Olympic Stadium
2001 Yokohama F. Marinos 0–0
(3–1 pen.)
Júbilo Iwata National Olympic Stadium
2002 Kashima Antlers 1–0 Urawa Red Diamonds National Olympic Stadium
2003 Urawa Red Diamonds 4–0 Kashima Antlers National Olympic Stadium
2004 FC Tokyo 0–0
(4–2 pen.)
Urawa Red Diamonds National Olympic Stadium
2005 JEF United Chiba 0–0
(5–4 pen.)
Gamba Osaka National Olympic Stadium
2006 JEF United Chiba 2–0 Kashima Antlers National Olympic Stadium
2007 Gamba Osaka 1–0 Kawasaki Frontale National Olympic Stadium
2008 Oita Trinita 2–0 Shimizu S-Pulse National Olympic Stadium
2009 FC Tokyo 2–0 Kawasaki Frontale National Olympic Stadium
2010 Júbilo Iwata 5–3 (aet) Sanfrecce Hiroshima National Olympic Stadium
2011 Kashima Antlers 1–0 (aet) Urawa Red Diamonds National Olympic Stadium
2012 Kashima Antlers 2–1 (aet) Shimizu S-Pulse National Olympic Stadium
2013 Kashiwa Reysol 1–0 Urawa Red Diamonds National Olympic Stadium
2014 Saitama Stadium

Performances by team[edit]

Club Winners Runners-up Winning seasons Runners-up seasons
Kashima Antlers
5
3
1997, 2000, 2002, 2011, 2012 1999, 2003, 2006
Tokyo Verdy
3
1
1992, 1993, 1994 1996
Júbilo Iwata
2
3
1998, 2010 1994, 1997, 2001
JEF United Chiba
2
1
2005, 2006 1998
Kashiwa Reysol
2
0
1999, 2013
FC Tokyo
2
0
2004, 2009
Shimizu S-Pulse
1
4
1996 1992, 1993, 2008, 2012
Urawa Red Diamonds
1
4
2003 2002, 2004, 2011, 2013
Gamba Osaka
1
1
2007 2005
Yokohama F. Marinos
1
0
2001
Oita Trinita
1
0
2008
Kawasaki Frontale
0
3
2000, 2007, 2009
Sanfrecce Hiroshima
0
1
2010

MVP[edit]

Year Winner Club Nation
1992 Kazuyoshi Miura Verdy Kawasaki  Japan
1993 Bismarck Verdy Kawasaki  Brazil
1994 Bismarck Verdy Kawasaki  Brazil
1996 Santos Shimizu S-Pulse  Brazil
1997 Jorginho Kashima Antlers  Brazil
1998 Nobuo Kawaguchi Júbilo Iwata  Japan
1999 Takeshi Watanabe Kashiwa Reysol  Japan
2000 Koji Nakata Kashima Antlers  Japan
2001 Tatsuya Enomoto Yokohama F. Marinos  Japan
2002 Mitsuo Ogasawara Kashima Antlers  Japan
2003 Tatsuya Tanaka Urawa Red Diamonds  Japan
2004 Yoichi Doi FC Tokyo  Japan
2005 Tomonori Tateishi JEF United Chiba  Japan
2006 Koki Mizuno JEF United Chiba  Japan
2007 Michihiro Yasuda Gamba Osaka  Japan
2008 Daiki Takamatsu Oita Trinita  Japan
2009 Takuji Yonemoto FC Tokyo  Japan
2010 Ryoichi Maeda Júbilo Iwata  Japan
2011 Yuya Osako Kashima Antlers  Japan
2012 Gaku Shibasaki Kashima Antlers  Japan
2013 Masato Kudo Kashiwa Reysol  Japan

New Hero Award[edit]

This award is presented to an under-23 player who made the biggest contribution to his team in the competition. The winner is decided based on votes from football journalists.

Year Winner Club
1996 Hiroshi Nanami Júbilo Iwata
Toshihide Saito Shimizu S-Pulse
1997 Atsuhiro Miura Yokohama Flügels
1998 Naohiro Takahara Júbilo Iwata
1999 Yukihiko Sato FC Tokyo
2000 Takayuki Suzuki Kashima Antlers
2001 Hitoshi Sogahata Kashima Antlers
2002 Keisuke Tsuboi Urawa Red Diamonds
2003 Tatsuya Tanaka Urawa Red Diamonds
2004 Makoto Hasebe Urawa Red Diamonds
2005 Yuki Abe JEF United Chiba
2006 Hiroyuki Taniguchi Kawasaki Frontale
2007 Michihiro Yasuda Gamba Osaka
2008 Mu Kanazaki Oita Trinita
2009 Takuji Yonemoto FC Tokyo
2010 Yojiro Takahagi Sanfrecce Hiroshima
2011 Genki Haraguchi Urawa Red Diamonds
2012 Hideki Ishige Shimizu S-Pulse
2013 Manabu Saitō Yokohama F. Marinos

External links[edit]