Saturday, November 04, 2006

What if: Round 4 Emperors Cup Verdy vs Shimizu

Tochigi FC is taking on the S Pulse of Shizuoka in a tight 0-0 match while Verdy is sitting around listening to Ramos tell of how in his day Yomiuri FC Nippon would have already beaten the competition and been grooving with the Samba band in the crowd.

Anyhow I thought it would be fun to speculate on what a 4th round match between Shimizu and Verdy would have looked like just by using the power of my mind.

Verdy Lineup

GK Tokizawa
DF Kaimoto Aoba Nakano Ichiyanagi
MF Kanazawa
Ono Kuba
FW Hiroyama Silva

Bench: Takagi, Fujita, Ohashi, Hiramoto, Ishikawa, Saito, Togawa

Shimizu Lineup

GK Nishibe
DF Ichikawa, Iwashita, Takagi, Yamanishi
MF Fujimoto, Ito,Takaki, Edamura
FW Marquinhos, Yajima

Bench: Yamamoto, Hiraoka, Zaitsu, Okazaki, Kuboyama, Hiramatsu, Morioka

Intriguing matchup between the surprise teams of the past two years. Verdy made an improbable run to claim the 2004 crown while Shimizu fell just short in making an improbable run through the 2005 E Cup field.

The game started off with a very strong Shimizu squad pushing forward quickly. Marquinhos put a shot off the bar that shook debutante Tokizawa into action. Midfielder Ito took a couple of shots that were stuffed by the young hero to be.

30 minutes in, Hiroyama sent a beautiful cross into a streaking Silva who remarkably attempts a bicycle kick in which he has no business attempting. It looks akward at first but the young Brazilian goal machine hits it perfectly into the top corner for a remarkable 1-0 lead.

This would be short lived however, as Marquinhos would make a quick strike against a hungover Verdy still reveling in the magnificence of the Silva strike. 1-1

Near the half, Verdy seemed content to go in with a tie but that would be a mistake as the former National teamer would come up with not one but two quick strikes in the span of one minute. 3-1 and things look pretty dire for the second division squad. Obviously a lack of cohesion in the back 4 led to alot of communication issues and breakdowns.

The second half saw the insertions of Togawa for Aoba and a switch to a 4-3-3 with the removal of Kuba for Saito. the move would see immediate dividends as Saito would get two back in a 5 minute span to tie things up. After a couple of tense minutes and moments of brilliance from the young Tokizawa, the squads would settle on extra time. The squads both came out looking to play for extra time as no shots were taken in a cautious 27 minutes. PK specialist Ohashi would be the last sub for Verdy as he came on for a brave Kanazawa. Unfortunately this move would backfire in a big way as Ohashi loses a pass andcauses Ono to foul a streaking Zaitsu on a grizzly foul that injures the striker and gives Ono a direct red. A PK is awarded and Brazilian star Marquinhos steps up to take it.

Tokizawa is up to the task! Brilliant stop and the game goes to PK's

Verdy is up first with the aforementioned Ohashi..............Stopped! Nishibe matches his young counterpart with a brilliant punch on a ball he had no business stopping.

Ito shoots for Shimizu and fakes the young keeper out of the box.......1-0 Shimizu

Next up is Verdy's other hero, the post!
Marquinhos gets a chance to redeem himself and does with an easy shot into the opposite direction of a flailing Tokizawa 2-0

Silva has possibly the last chance and puts it over the bar! Unbelievable!

Defender Takagi steps up for Shimizu and calmly puts in the third shot for Shimizu 3-0 and last year's runner up moves on.

A disappointing ending to a thrilling match..........that never happened!

The real game was stranger than my fiction.......after nearly 60 minutes of scoreless football, Yajima, Marquinhos, and Fujimoto would all notch braces and Tochigi would put 4 back as 10 goals are notched in a 30 minute span.

So far every first team squad has managed to pass through to the round of 16.

The best match this weekend had to be the Kashiwa/Jubilo affair in Yamaha.........Kashiwa managed to push Jubilo to 10 rounds of penalty kicks before finally falling 9-8 in PK's ......The Chiba squad was missing their stellar keeper Yuta Minami and their trio of Brazilian stars.

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