Eight alive in Japan's Emperor's Cup

THE quarterfinals of the 2012 version of Japan’s Emperor’s Cup will be held on Sunday 23 December.

THE quarter-finals of the 2012 version of Japan-s Emperor-s Cup will be held on Sunday 23 December.

Sunday-s ties will slash the current pool of eight sides into four, giving Central Coast Mariners a better understanding of who their opponent from Japan will be in the 2013 edition of Asia-s premier club competition, the AFC Champions League.

Six of the eight clubs still alive in the Emperor-s Cup play in Japan-s top flight, while the recently relegated Gamba Osaka, as well as JEF United Ichihara Chiba, are bidding to compete in the AFC Champions League from J2.

The semi-finals of the competition will be held on Saturday 29 December, while the Final will be played on New Year-s Day.

Quarter-Finals: Gamba Osaka vs. Cerezo Osaka Yokohama F. Marinos vs. Nagoya Grampus Omiya Ardija vs. Kashiwa Reysol JEF United vs. Kashima Antlers

Semi-Finals: Winner QF1 vs. Winner QF2 Winner QF3 vs. Winner QF4

Final: Winner SF1 vs. Winner SF2

Gamba Osaka Location: Osaka, Japan Stadium: Osaka Expo 70 Stadium (21,000) 2012 J-League Finish: 17th (relegated to J2) Getting there: Numerous airlines provide direct flights between Sydney and Osaka. Approximate flight time is 9.5 hours. Official website: www.gamba-osaka.net

Cerezo Osaka Location: Osaka, Japan Stadium: Kincho Stadium (20,000) 2012 J-League Finish: 12th Getting there: Numerous airlines provide direct flights between Sydney and Osaka. Approximate flight time is 9.5 hours. Official website: www.cerezo.co.jp

JEF United Ichihara Chiba Location: Chiba, Japan Stadium: Fukuda Denshi Arena (20,000) 2012 J-League Finish: (5th in J2) Getting there: Chiba is located 50 kilometres east of Tokyo. Fly direct to Tokyo (10.5 hours) and bus or bullet train to the home of JEF United. Official website: www.so-net.ne.jp/JEFUNITED

Nagoya Grampus Location: Nagoya, Japan Stadium: Mizuho Athletic Stadium (27,000) or Toyota Stadium (45,000) 2012 J-League Finish: 7th Getting there: Nagoya is located 352km southwest of Tokyo and 506km northeast of Osaka. Fly direct to either location and catch a connecting flight or bullet train to Japan-s fourth most populous urban area. Official website: www.nagoya-grampus.jp/en

Yokohama F. Marinos Location: Yokohama, Japan Stadium: Nissan Stadium (72,327) 2012 J-League Finish: 4th Getting there: Yokohama is located just 44km south of Tokyo. Bus or bullet train options provide the most effective means of transport between Narita Airport and the base of F. Marinos. Official website: www.f-marinos.com

Kashima Antlers Location: Kashima, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan Stadium: Kashima Soccer Stadium (41,000) 2012 J-League Finish: 11th Getting there: Ibaraki Prefecture is 100km north from Narita Airport, Tokyo-s primary airport. Train and bus options available from the commuter hub. Official website: www.so-net.ne.jp/antlers

Kashiwa Reysol Location: Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan Stadium: Hitachi Kashiwa Soccer Stadium (16,000) 2012 J-League Finish: 6th Getting there: Chiba is located north of Tokyo. Fly direct to Tokyo (10.5 hours) and bus or bullet train to the city. Official website: www.reysol.co.jp

Omiya Ardija Location: Omiya-ku, Saitama, Japan Stadium: NACK5 Stadium Omiya (15,500) 2012 J-League Finish: 13th Getting there: Saitama is a part of greater Tokyo, just 24km north of the city centre. Official website: www.ardija.co.jp