This weekend marks a significant staging post in Pieter Huistra’s Iwaki FC revolution, as they take on Fukushima United for the right to represent Fukushima prefecture in this year’s Emperor’s Cup.
For the uninitiated, the Emperor’s Cup is Japan’s national football competition, open to all clubs in Japan. Those outside of the top two leagues must qualify for the tournament by winning their prefectural tournament, hence Fukushima & Iwaki facing off on Sunday. The winner of that game will face the Gunma prefecture representative, with the winner of that game going to meet Shunsuke Nakamura’s Yokohama F.Marinos – a mega reward for whichever club earns the right.
Huistra’s men have so far enjoyed a pretty nice ride in the tournament, racking up 40 goals in their six rounds to date, while conceding just one. The final promises to be a much tougher affair against Fukushima’s only J.League representative. They currently sit in 12th place in J3, but are without a league win in seven.
While not really wanting to take sides, we’d like to wish Iwaki FC all the best in the final this weekend.