Kawasaki Frontale won their second Emperor's Cup after beating Kashiwa Reysol 8-7 in an epic penalty shootout following a goalless 120 minutes on Saturday.
After the final ended 0-0 for the first time since 1990, Kashiwa goalkeeper Kenta Matsumoto made two saves but missed the crucial penalty as his team's 10th taker.
His opposite number, South Korean keeper Jung Sung Ryong, was the hero of the shootout, stepping up to make Kawasaki's final shot before stopping Matsumoto to clinch the silverware in front of 62,837 at Tokyo's National Stadium.
Kawasaki's dramatic victory, which follows their maiden Emperor's Cup title in 2020, earned them a place in next season's Asian Champions League Elite.
"It epitomized our season as we fought patiently, kept a clean sheet and did not give up at moments when we easily could have," Kawasaki manager Toru Oniki said after his team survived several big moments from Kashiwa.
Kawasaki had a streak of five straight seasons with a trophy broken last year, following the departure of now overseas-based stars such as Kaoru Mitoma and Reo Hatate. They finished this season eighth in the J-League first division but made sure the campaign ended with a title.
"I believe the players have matured as much as we've suffered," Oniki said. "There are things you only get to know by continuing to win titles, so we hope to keep doing that."
The first half was dominated by Kashiwa, who only secured their J1 survival in the final round of fixtures on Sunday as they finished second from bottom in 17th place.
In contrast, Kawasaki lacked movement in the opposing half and did not register their first shot until the 40th minute.
Kawasaki improved after the break but had to survive two big chances involving Kashiwa's Japan forward Mao Hosoya. The 22-year-old snuck behind Kawasaki's high defensive line in the 69th minute and stayed on his feet under pressure from defender Takumi Ominami, but his final touch was too strong as the ball rolled to Jung.
The athletic youngster then failed to provide a final ball on another promising counter three minutes later following a diagonal pass from Kota Yamada, who had an effective outing playing as No. 10 until he was taken off in the 77th minute.
Daiya Tono's 79th minute volley and Yusuke Segawa's header in stoppage time for Kawasaki both flew straight at Kashiwa keeper Matsumoto, while a late Eiichi Katayama's shot from a tight angle at the other end was denied by the post as the match entered extra time.
Kashiwa had a golden opportunity in the 99th minute but Hosoya's one-on-one shot was saved by Jung before Keiya Sento dragged his subsequent attempt just wide.
Former France forward Bafetimbi Gomis came on for the second half of extra-time and had the game's biggest chance in the 118th minute, but his free header off Miki Yamane's cross from the right was denied as a flying Matsumoto saved the ball onto the bar and ensured the match went to penalties.
Kashiwa's fourth taker Sento hit the post, but Matsumoto kept his team in the tie, then set them up with a chance to win, by making consecutive saves to deny Gomis and Kyohei Noborizato.
But Katayama's spot-kick hit the bar and Matsumoto's shot was denied by Jung immediately after the South Korean keeper coolly slotted his attempt.