Nick has provided another fascinating account of what happened to Verdy on their road to redemption.
ED NOTE: This is a PG version of the post he wrote........the more "colorful version can be found in it's entirety Here: "Spring is here and out comes the dandelion!" So if you wanna read about Takagi and his dog http://ameblo.jp/yoshinari-takagi click the link.
The man is back!!Indeed a clean sheet and Im guessing his shorts,trademark pink top and socks are all as good as new too. **** ground, no fans, **** game but an absolute blinder of a goal from Hiramoto to warm the cockles of the 30 odd strong travelling hordes of the Green Army!! The game kicked off in pissing rain in a virtually empty,freezing cold looking stadium.Basillio indeed gone, replaced by Saito,Hagimura back in the line up,Yanagisawa still in the line up, The Cat on the bench/cutting the half time oranges/managing Ramos` spare wig and grovelling praying to be given another crack in nets, desperatly hoping Takagi is not gonna be in for the next three seasons like since the last time he got dropped. Its kind of difficult to write about anything,when nothing seemed to happen, pass,pass give the ball away,pass pass same again,foul, free kick comes to nothing,edge of the box ball goes out for a corner,corner comes to nothing, Im sure you get the picture. On the plus side, Verdy restricted Mito to pretty much zero worthwhile shots on goal,as I say Takagi must be the cleanest keeper to have played 90 minutes. If he told his Missus he was off for a game of footy and returned in the same kit after,suspicions would arise...where had he REALLY been?? Questions would have to be asked. In the entire first half, Verdy had two "chances" Anailson escaped the attentions of his marker on the right and knocked in a nice cross from the edge of the box to Hiramoto who was free with a good deal of time to line it up and pull the trigger, however he seemed to miscontrol it,scuff his effort which hit Saito`s hand and resulted in a free kick. He had his head in his hands and so he should. Saito also had an opportunity a looping header which just cleared the bar unfortunately. As I say Mito managed a few decent runs and had a bit of pressure through the half but as for clear cut chances,nothing really.Anyway half time came and went and the second half continued pretty much in the same vein, lots of mistakes (still pissing down at this point so maybe the pitch was a factor). As on Saturday against Reysol, the yellow cards were piling up and I was beginning to think someone was gonna see red soon. Even worse I thought I was gonna have sat through 90 minutes without even an OOh!! or an AAHH!! without even being close to rising from the chair, but Hiramoto came to the rescue in the 85th minute. He scored a goal which if scored in the summer in the World Cup will be goal of the tournament and the scorer will be able to add a couple of zeros to his price tag. Anyway, a fluffed Mito throw in came in from the right touchline just by the dug outs, a flick on resulted in the ball landing at the feet of someone in a white top (one of ours) who quickly zipped a powerful pass up to Iio, Iio headed it perfectly across the box into the path of Hiramoto who, at the edge of the box, controlled it (at about knee height) with his right foot and struck it OH! so sweetly with his left in one quick swivel!! Spectacular goal and worth sitting through the previous 85 minutes.This is the EXACT reason why we sit through crap football, just on the off chance of witnessing a bit of magic.He certainly made up for his miss earlier on. After the goal, there was no way Mito were gonna do anything as they hadn`t threatened Takagi all night. One worrying thing (again) was the yellow cards!! At least 4 or 5 again although I didnt really count.Ive not looked at the other results yet tonight,but this can only be good for us obviously. As each game goes by Im becoming more confident about our chances. We lost on Saturday but I think if we had kept 11 on the field we would have gone on to win the game. We bounced back tonight with a win.Even though the game was poor and we didnt create much ourselves, the opposition were stifled and a clean sheet is always welcome. There are 31 stars tonight, the 30 odd people who braved the ***** weather, ****** ground and ****** game who were rewarded by the other star Hiramoto for scoring a cracker to send them home happy. Onwards and Upwards!! C`mon the Boys!!
Kinda thought the game was like that. Thank you as always for providing color commentary, Nick!