In a game for pride, two teams that had high hopes for promotion and success faced off in a battle for self respect. The last time these teams met in historic Tokyo National, The game saw 2 ejections (including the backup keeper), a disputed PK whch was redone three times until Masahiro Ohashi put it away, and a small fan uprising from the visiting Vegalta supporters.
The replay in Sendai saw a miraculous length of the field goal scored off a goal kick by Yoshinori Takagi which made the difference in a 2-1 affair.
Today's game promised none of that.
MF Sugawara Kanazawa
FW Silva Hiramoto
The first half ended scoreless, although both of Verdy's d mids managed to get booked. Silva managed to break through in the 72 minute of play but moments later MF naoki Sugai managed to knot things up at 1. Final score 1-1
Nick said he would report on Consadole tomorrow, I'm hoping he talks about this game as well.
Kazu goes back to the big show
Yokohama FC did the improbable, beating Sagan Tosu on the road 1-0 and wrapping up the J2 crown. The game was won late on an Alemao goal. Ironically, the team that let him go.....last year's champion Kyoto Purple Sanga gave up a last minute goal to Gamba Osaka and get the hook.
Vissel Kobe came from a 1 goal and 2 man disadvantage to steal a tie from bottom barrel Shonan Bellmare and move a point ahead of Kashiwa Reysol by one point for the final automatic promotion spot. Reysol meanwhile lost a 2 goal advantage at home and fell 3-2 to the resurgent Consadole Sapporo. If Reysol falls into the third position, it would be the third year in a row that they faced off in the pro/rel playoff, beating Avispa Fukuoka in 2004 and dropping to Venforet Kofu and Bare in 2005.
The two teams locked in battle for the last relegation playoff spot, Cerezo and Avispa both lost 2-0 to Omiya and Nagoya (un)respectively.
Avispa takes on Venforet at home while Cerezo welcomes in Kawasaki Frontale. Kawasaki needs a victory in order to guarantee a shot at the 2007 ACL if Gamba falters............An Urawa win would mean that the second place squad in J1 gets a ticket to play teams from China, Korea, and other exotic locations.
More coaching turmoil?
Rumors from Consadole blogs are starting to form about the tenure of Masaaki Yanagishita. Although we have no reports confirming this, it seems the coach will leave after this season because of the teams failure to advance to J1.
Could this push Hulk out of the cold and into Verdy green? Is there a problem with cash in the northern kingdom?
Kusatsu equals Closure
Finally our long soccer nightmare is coming to a close. Thespa Kusatsu equals the end of year one in the Rui era. It also equals the end of year 1 of Soilent Green. I'd like to say a big thank you to everybody who reads the blog and comments on it. It's a pain in the pooper sometimes but I enjoy doing this and I hope it serves a purpose in some small way. Again thanks and stay for the ride next year.
Please play the young guys! Give Killoran a game!!!!!!!!