FC Tokyo win thrilling Emperor’s Cup final
© AFP

FC Tokyo qualified for the 2012 AFC Champions League today by recovering from a goal down to beat Kyoto Sanga 4-2 and win the Emperor's Cup.

The final of the prestigious tournament, opened to Japan's professional and amateur leagues, featured two clubs from J.League 2 - the country's second flight - for the first time. FC Tokyo are fresh from winning J2, while Kyoto finished seventh to miss out on promotion.

We came from the second division and played against teams in the top league. I'd like to thank my players.
Kiyoshi Okuma after his FC Tokyo team won the Emperor's Cup

The capital club, who won the Emperor's Cup for the first time, joined the top three teams from the J.League - Kashiwa Reysol, Nagoya Grampus and Gamba Osaka - in this year's AFC Champions League.

"I was moved by my own team as they did their job pretty well," said Tokyo coach Kiyoshi Okuma. "We came from the second division and played against teams in the top league.

"We needed patience and courage. It was tough because our supporters expected us to do well, but it ended in a good result. I'd like to thank my players."

Only two minutes after Kyoto skipper Hiroki Nakayama opened the scoring in the 13th minute, Naohiro Ishikawa sent a cross after exchanging short passes from the left corner, allowing Yasuyuki Konno to head home an equaliser.

In the 36th minute, Ishikawa sent another short pass from a free-kick and Masato Morishige netted a sizzling 30-metre shot. Brazilian striker Lucas added two more, while Yuya Kubo managed to pull one back for Kyoto.

Morishige said: "I thought it would be difficult when we lost a goal, but I scored myself and we started to play our game. This team is well organised. I think we played entertaining football."