S-Pulse 1-2 Kobe
Novakovic 63 -------------- Jung 33
---------------------------------- Iwanami 87
May 24th, 2pm
IAI Stadium Nihondaira, Shizuoka
DF Jong a Pin
FW Takagi T
Novakovic on for Sugiyama (HT)
Murata on for Kawai (HT)
Takagi Y on for Takagi T (85)
Not a great first half, but we really should have won it in the second. After Novakovic's penalty, his 10th goal of the season and which he took rather than Genki given Omae and Yamamoto's relationship, we pummeled the Kobe goal relentlessly. Murata and Hiraoka in particular went close. Murata collected a Toshiyuki Takagi cross only to be denied by Yamamoto, while Hiraoka headed against the post. The day after turning 28, a birthday goal would have been pretty sweet, but it wasn't to be.
Just when it started to look like the game would end all square, Kobe's young defender Iwanami (who I happened to see in Starbucks last night) popped up to head past Kushibiki and steal all three points. Kushi should have done better and he knows it, but today's game is gone. We're still 2nd in Group A, with a game in hand over 1st placed G. Osaka and 3rd placed FC Tokyo. A win away at Tosu on Wednesday could as good as put us through to the quarter finals, and even then we have another game still to play, so this one defeat has to be kept in perspective.
A personal shout out for Yoshida. In the second half especially he didn't stop running, and his charging down the left wing was the genesis of many goal scoring chances. Really impressed with his work rate and productivity today. Well played Yutaka!