Zion salvage their season with the ESR FJ Cup Championship

Announcements - June 16th 2024


It's been a rough season for Zion this year in Division 1. 

Their relegation was already determined a few months ago. They've let in the second-most goals and have only managed to scrape 9 points this season. In fact, they have more wins in the ESR FJ Cup than in their regular season this year! But alas, such is the cup. Every team has a chance of winning it.

The two finalists for the ESR FJ Cup this season were Eastern Capital FC and Zion FC. For ECFC, this was their first time to reach the finals and was a big moment for them. For Zion, this was their second Cup championship they were trying to win. Their first win was back in 2019 (Cup Finals 2019) which was one of their clubs biggest achievements.

The game started out very strongly in Zions favor. Dino Solomon, a player that has joined Zion from December, was terrorizing the back line of Eastern Capital by being a very targetable frontman. He would be seen dueling for 50/50 aerials but he also was capable of dropping in like a false 9 to help build up play. It was through him the first goal was born. Dino, dropping in, receiving the ball in between the defensive and midfield lines of ECFC and playing a through ball to Hiroto Yamashita. A beautifully executed attack that caught a perhaps unprepared ECFC.

Despite Eastern Capital using their trademark whiteboard to cook up tactics during water break, Zion continued to attack their goal. Zion carried the momentum of their first goal for the rest of the first half, scoring 2 additional goals.

In the second half, the game settled a bit towards an even playing ground. Eastern Capital began to gain some more control of the ball. There were still times where ECFC players were losing the ball, leading to devastating counter attacks. With both their full backs taking a high position, it was paramount for the midfielders to not lose the ball so easily but this wasn't executed the way they wanted. Yuta Watanabe (ECFC) scored a great header from a cross but that was too little too late. Zion scored another goal in the second half sealing the win, 4-1. Goal scorers were Hiroto Yamashita (2), Naoya Mashiko and a own goal.

Zions poor season was salvaged through this Cup win and hopefully they can bounce back get back into Division 1. If Zion's first half performance of this cup final is any indication of their teams form for next season, you can definitely count on them to get back into Division 1.

Congratulations to Zion for winning the ESR FJ Cup!