The first cut won't hurt at all
The second only makes you wonder
The third will have you on your knees
You start bleeding I start screaming
I don't know if Ruy is a propoganda fan but this song was going through my head after seeing the first 11 minutes of the game. Anyhow, coming into this critical match, Verdy had played the best ball of the season, outscoring opponents in their last 3 matches by an 8-0 tally. Kashiwa meanwhile had a tough 1-1 draw in Kobe against the crimson Vissel. Kashiwa had a promotion to try and get 12,000 to the game. 38 points in league and sitting at the top of the table. Lucky to get a 3-2 result in Ajinomoto. Revenge was on the mind of Verdy and the chance to move closer to the top of J2. Today's match was going to be different.
DF Ishikawa, Togawa, Hagimura, Kaimoto
MF Kuba, Nejime, Kanazawa, Ono
FW Hiramoto, Saito
SUBS: Mizuhara, Sugawara (NA), Ohashi (17), Iio (55), Anailson (53)
Things started out well enough for Verdy. From the kickoff, the ball went to Kaimoto, who served a nice ball to Kuba, back to Kaimoto, up to Hiramoto......he drives in, puts a shot off the crossbar and Saito gathers in the rebound and puts a header into the arms of Minami. Looks good.......but wait
The First Cut- In minute 5, Kashiwa earns a corner and pushes everybody into center of the box. Defender Kazunari Okayama puts the first goal in. 1-0 Kashiwa
The Second only makes you wonder- what the hell Togawa was thinking when he he did that lame-@*$ back pass that Diego was easily able to pooch behind an isolated Takagi.
The Third will have you on your knees- Allright, this line really doesn't have a natural connection to the game but Fransa probably prays every night for the perfect goal. The play starts out with a Kashiwa breakaway stopped by a Hagimura clothesline. I'm thinking this will go red, it should go red, but the officials decide otherwise and show a merciful yellow. A free kick goes about waist-high to Fransa, who gets his leg up high and sends a bullet past Takagi......beautiful shot by the Brazilian striker who is anything but.
At minute 11 it was 3-0.......Verdy was having major problems stringing together passes and Kashiwa was looking to attack. Rui pulls the plug on Togawa after 17 minutes and puts in Ohashi. I'm thinking that maybe Nejime will be playing the middle d in the future or Ze Luis was brought in to play alongside Hagimura. It started getting really chippy out there, especially between Hagimura and MF Ricardinho. Hagimura would win the battle as Ricardinho managed to pick up 2 cards in 20 minutes and a ticket out of Kashiwa stadium.
The second half started much like the first with an unmarked Okayama getting the brace with a header. Verdy was able to get a ton of shots on goal but Minami was able to repel most of the attack. Only a meaningless goal by a hustling Iio in the 89th minute was able to break up the shutout. 4-1 Kashiwa
GK- Takagi 6- It does seem strange to give a keeper who let up 4 scores a high ranking but Takagi was virtually blameless on all 4. And he did stop at least 3 sure chances for Kashiwa, including an Okayama header and a breakaway by the massive Diego. It also can be argued that it is Takagi and not Ono who is the true on-field leader. You could see big T directing the back 4 and mids to get in the right positions. Last year, this game would have ended 7-0 or 6-1 and not 4-1. If Mizuhara is in the nets next game because of this result, then Ruy should be fired.....AND I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD UTTER THESE WORDS!
DF-4 No man marking on 2 of the goals and Togawa really stunk it up. Worst performance of the year that I've seen. I shudder to think what would have happened if they had faced 11 for the whole game. Kaimoto was good on the branch, Ishikawa, not so much. Hagimura struggled, too.
MF 5.5 They had trouble early, kind of fell apart after the first goal but came on strong near the end. Ono had his worst game in awhile, just kept losing the ball. Maybe it was because of the first trip back to his old home but he was poor today. Kuba was effective, didn't have a bad game at all. Kanazawa muscled up against Diego (who is much bigger) and held his own. He got in peoples face today and really has improved as the season went on. Nejime was more effective when he moved back to defense. Ohashi was a mess, sending long balls out of the stadium (literally, 2 over the supporters section and over the wall). Anailson came in and had a nice spark..........I kind of think he's good off the bench.
FW 5 God they were poor today. When I'm forced to say that Iio was the best striker out there......by a mile.....you know that it was a bad day for Hiramoto and Saito. Hiramoto had a ton of passes to nobody, Saito wasn't looking on some plays and didn't connect. The low point was an Anailson shot off the top cross bar that landed right in front of a flat-footed Hiramoto, who watched the keeper kick it away. Hiramoto also picked up a stupid yellow with an unneccesary American-Football style tackle.
Kashiwa was a quality side today, no question. They handed Verdy a spectacular beating and controlled the game, even when they were a man down. I think that alot of the reasons why Verdy looked so bad today was because Kashiwa was so good. Right now, Verdy is a high level J2 quality side, Kashiwa is J1 quality.
It was good to see Kanazawa and Iio show some fire today. Iio popped somebody in the mouth after they got too chippy with him. Kanazawa didn't back down either. I like seeing guys get mad when they are getting beat up.
Kashiwa missed their target goal of 12,000 by a 1000......11,012 in a 15,000 capacity facility. Great atmosphere, not an awful stadium......good sight lines. My only beef if the fact that the scoreboard looked like something salvaged from a recycle shop. I mean, the parent company is friggin Hitachi.....they can't install a state-of-the-art Video scoreboard for a stadium called "Hitachi Stadium". Mascot creeps me out, too.
The good news is Verdy gets an 11 day break. That should give the squad time to work in Ze Luis and help Kaimoto and Ishikawa get more comfortable.
I wonder where Basilio is........I saw an interview on JS goal but there's no word on his health or even if he's in Japan right now. Saito is more physical and a better defender but Basilio is more creative and deadly on PK's.
Please let me know if anybody is reading these reports! Haven't got a comment in like 3 weeks.If you saw the game, I'll give you the spotlight!