Sanfrecce Hiroshima Regina captured the 2023 WE League Cup on Saturday, earning the club’s first silverware in a penalty shootout win over Albirex Niigata after 120 minutes of intense but scoreless action.

Last season’s fifth-place finisher dominated for long stretches at Todoroki Stadium in Kawasaki, but failed to finish off a tenacious Albirex side still looking for its first major trophy in 20 years of existence.

But despite threatening the Hiroshima goal several times on the counter, nerves eventually got the best of Niigata manager Kazuaki Hashikawa’s side, with Mizuki Sonoda and Chihiro Ishida missing their attempts from the spot.