Sunday, November 26, 2006

Last one out, turn out the lights......Verdy vs Vegalta

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.


GK Takagi
DF Kaimoto-Togawa-Tomisawa-Ishikawa
MF Sugawara Kanazawa
Marcus Hiroyama
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!!!!!!!!

1 comment:

Nick said...

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.