Friend of SG1969 and longtime Verdy supporter Nick checks in with a twofer review of the weekend
Well the end of season is nigh and we are going out with a flicker as opposed to a bang!! It was up to the beatiful city of Sapporo for a bit of footy and relaxation for myself last week.A great time was had by all,even the crap result and crap game couldn`t put a dampener on things. First thing has to be said is that Sapporo Dome has to be one THE best places to watch footy in the world,coming from a dome free country the technology behind the whole set up and the whole sliding in the pitch etc is jaw dropping. From the multitude of restaurants to choose from,the perfect pitch,the Deat Star feel to the place.Sapporo can draw a crowd too...18,000 noisy Hokkaidans creating their own version of Red Hell. On to the game..we were poor,managing only 3 or 4 half chances in the whole game, Hiramoto got clean through in the second half only to run out of pitch,had a couple of good runs but we were looking very shaky anf the Consadole midfield was where the game was won.They dominated our guys,overrunning them time and time again. As for Hulk...Im not sure about him,he did look dangerous and I think he is certainly not shy about shooting,but boy is he a moaner,anytime the ball wasn`t directly handed him on silver platter he was pointing, shouting arguing and generally being the kind of team mate you want to tell to go forth and.....You were right about the first goal,it was a stinging shot from Hulk which Takagi failed to hold (which he should have done as it was hit right at his chest) and the other striker nipped in for the rebound. We tried to press for the equaliser but were unable to break down the Consadole midfield.We never really looked like equalising and hlow and behold the second goal came on a fast breakaway. Crap result,dire game but hey I finally got to Sapporo Dome,site of Englands win over Argentina in 2002!! I still left happy.Which brings us to yesterday. I hate National Stadium.Historic or not its a general pain in the arse. Its further from my house than Chofu,there is no bloody roof,your miles from the pitch and they stop selling beer/food/anything at half time!! Anyway the game yesterday was an improvement on Thursdays encounter.It started off lively as Hiramoto hit the bar and Silva made the keepers fingers sting with a long range effort. The Sendai boys were making their contribution too with their Brazilian mid (the guy with the big hair whose name escapes me) doing the work of 3 men...forget Hulk and go for this guy!! Talk about work rate!! Good on the ball too he fashioned a number of chances for Sendai and wasn`t shy about shooting himself either.Anyhow after the exciting opening things calmed down a bit and the game settled into a good rythmn with chances/shots coming at a good rate. There was even a bit of atmos as every time Takagi touched the ball there was a crescendo of boos coming from the Sendai end. Half time came and went and we were getting closer and closer to scoring, anyhow in the 73rd minute the ball came in from the wing and Silva turned his man beautifully on the edge of the box,bought himself a yard of space and fired a low shot past the diving keeper. Good finish,a goal made and scored by Silva. Things continued in the same way chances falling away at either end. Then with about 10 minutes to go our defensive frailties reared their ugly head after a bit of a scramble in our box,(we must have had 4 or 5 chances to clear it),the ball broke to an unmarked Sendai guy who lashed the ball into the net from about 8 yards out. Overall a draw was probably a fair result,though obviously you want a win for the last home game. Takagi was visibly pissed off too as he got booked for throwing the ball to viscously down towards the centre circle after it had gone in. Strange,Ive seen people booked for throwing the ball away but ner for throwing to where its supposed to go. The ref was a bit of an arse today...Nevermind at least they have dropped The Cat from the bench.the young goalie is lining up these days.
I need a report on Thespa Saturday Nick........Get packing! Aww, just kidding....thank you as always!