Kashiwa Remain On Course for another Final
Kashiwa Reysol knocked out Real Madrid in a rematch of last year’s clash at the same quarter-final stage of the Alkass International Cup.
Last year’s finalists defended strongly to set up a last-four clash with Glasgow Rangers, courtesy of a 2-0 victory.
Real had the first effort on goal after nine minutes, but Miguel Romera Ramon’s shot went straight at the keeper. Kashiwa responded and Shun Nakajima and skipper Ibuki Toda both went close before the Japanese went ahead on 21 minutes. Sohki Tamura was brought down by Jorge Sanchez Serafin and Naito Saito stepped up to send Real keeper Lucas Canizares Conchello the wrong way.
Pau Russo Aran, one of the stars of the tournament so far, showed great skill to set up Javier Rodriguez Lancho but he fired over, and Real then spurned another opportunity when Victor Rofino Gordo headed wide. Kashiwa doubled their lead six minutes before the break when Saito and Takuma Otake linked up well down the left flank and set up Yuki Skimizu to make it 2-0.
Russo Aran saw an effort tipped over the bar as Real tried to find a response before the break, but last year’s runners-up held firm. A heavy downpour arrived 10 minutes into the second half but it failed to dampen Kashiwa’s mood as they continued to keep Real at bay with relative ease. The Japanese side got everyone behind the ball which made it difficult for Real to create clear-cut chances.
Tamura almost put the game beyond doubt on 65 minutes but his shot skimmed the stop of the bar and Real then had one of their best chances of the night but Icelandic teenager Andri Gudjohnsen headed straight at the keeper.
Russo Aran turned nicely to create an opportunity but he couldn’t keep his shot down, and with eight minutes to go the same player sent a fine free-kick over the wall but the keeper was up to the task. Real continued to attack in the closing stages but they never looked likely to deny the well organized Kashiwa side.