Nagoya Grampus suffered an ignominious 3-0 defeat to the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya on Wednesday, perhaps the biggest upset of the evening’s slate of Emperor’s Cup second-round fixtures.
Fielding a reserve-heavy squad, the J. League first-division side was unable to find the back of the net against the Kyushu University Soccer League side representing Kagoshima Prefecture in the annual tournament.
Kanoya went ahead just one minute after the break through 20-year-old striker Ryusei Ito, and things went from bad to worse for Grampus when Ryo Nemoto doubled the students’ lead and Kazuki Fujimoto made it 3-0 with 10 minutes remaining.
Of the 2,462 fans who endured poor weather at Paloma Mizuho Stadium, those who stayed after the final whistle loudly booed the Grampus players when they came behind the goal for the traditional post-match greeting. Soon after, Kanoya’s players were warmly applauded.
“We couldn’t beat anyone with today’s performance,” said Grampus manager Yahiro Kazama, according to the J. League website. “Kanoya wasn’t afraid and they came straight at us, but our players looked scared and kept losing duels. Any child watching this game would wonder if (our players) were really professionals.”
Kanoya head coach Katsuyuki Shiokawa was happy to bring “good news” to the city, which has suffered this week from historic rainfall and been forced to close schools.
“In order to cause a ‘giant killing’ (upset) you have to put everything you have into your shots and dribbles because that’s how you’ll score,” Shiokawa said. “I feel as though we may have used up our good luck for the year but we concentrated and played a great game.”
Kanoya, which is participating in the Emperor’s Cup for the first time since 2013, will face the J1’s Oita Trinita in the third round on Aug. 14.
In other upsets on Wednesday, perennial Japan Football League titan Honda FC beat Consadole Sapporo 4-2, while third-division debutant Vanraure Hachinohe upended Matsumoto Yamaga 3-2 in extra time.
The JFL’s Veertien Mie swept past Shonan Bellmare 4-0, while the J3’s Kataller Toyama defeated Machida Zelvia 1-0.
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