I just got finished watching the highlights and instead of writing a report, I'll let the words of Nick tell you the tale
Slugfest at Sendai!! Not a game for the feint hearted today, battles galore, a bit of history between the two sides ( though probably not a lot of the same players this season as last) led to a scrap from start to finish. Not the prettiest game ever but if will to win was to count at the end of the season, both teams would be up there!! Verdy were fast out of the blocks (as usual these days...) Hulk looking lively and managing to rile the Sendai crowd with abandon!! Funakoshi did nothing to shake off his donkey tag, one spectacularly poor moment involving being clean through and spooning the ball wildly wide of the target...Diego is looking increasingly uncomfortable as the games pass, he was poor today,gave the ball away a lot,was caught in possesion and was booked trying to catch Lopes after he had been robbed. Harsh booking to be fair but he is looking a bit ropey at the minute. The defence were under a lot of pressure today and for the most part were hoping to counter,if the opportunity arose. Anyhow after doing a stellar job for the first 35 minutes, the ball came looping in from the left ,evaded everyone and the Sendai winger was left unguarded to sweep the ball past an unprotected Takagi.1-0 and not unexpected and certainly not undeserved. Anyhow, half time came and 1-0 was looking tough to come back from, but there is always a chance at 1-0. Just inside the second 45, a long punt from Schneider and one bounce,one touch from the striker and Takagi was flapping at empty air as the ball looped over him into the net.Soft goal and the way the centre half (not sure which one) was pushed off the ball like an asthma ridden weakling was embarrassing. At this point it like game over for the Boys in Green... However.anyone who had them dead and buried doesn`t know the history of Verdy!! Lost cause anyone?? Backs against the walls?? Call the Green Boys a quick reply was essential if they were gonna get anything from the game and Ze Luis was there to knock in a header from a scrappy play around the box..2-1. After this, Sendai really went to town... we couldn`t get near their box with anything worthwhile for the rest of the second period. Stout defending,the woodwork and the offside flag all conspired at times to keep the scoreline manageable. Then, with the clock winding down and a first loss looking likely, Hulk from nowhere broke free down the left channel, cut in and beat Schneider at his near post!!! A draw was probably not a just reflection in terms of quality of possesion,shots or chances created.But in terms of effort and never-say-die attitude the boys deserved the point. A good fight against one of the certs to be up their come November!! Sendai will definately feel more dissappointed than our boys. A point won by us as opposed to 2 points thrown away by them. Well Done!! Onwards and Upwards the Boys Definately March On!! Roll on Cerezo!! Im looking forward to it!! Myself and my daughter will be firmly planted behind the goal!! Posted by Nick to Soilent Green 1969 at 6:37 AM
Great writeup as always, Nick! The Hulk goal was pure talent, he stole the ball, outmuscled 4 guys and put a shot past 2 others and the keeper. Amazing. The Ze Luis muscle job was also a good one. Togawa got skewered on the long ball, kind of a karmic turn of events on that second Sendai goal, considering Takagi put one in last year in the same building.
I think we are all concerned about Ono and Diego....it seemed like the team kicked up a notch when Inoue and Sato came on for Nanami and Ono. Actually Yusuke Sato might be the best pickup of the year for Verdy because it was so under the radar. Sato has been great in his super sub role. Kind of curious to see if Rui goes with the same group on a short turnaround or if we see some of the subs against Cerezo.......Hiroyama for Diego? Sugawara for Nanami?
Anyhow, if you didn't see the game here are some highlights courtesy of Tasui105 at YOUTUBE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2DHY4P3J94 Full Highlights
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DVMjOEv2BQ ZE LUIS goal
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX5YNoKMO3g HULK goal
Previews and results from around J2 are coming tomorrow!