Saturday, 12 April 2014

S-Pulse 2-0 Omiya Ardija

Barry BARRY WRITES... 

S-Pulse 2-0 Omiya Ardija
Novakovic 48
Omae 92

Att 11497
3pm, Nihondaira Stadium
Shizuoka city, Shizuoka prefecture

Line Up

GK Kushibiki

DF Jakovic
DF Hiraoka
DF Jong-a-Pin
DF Yoshida

MF Musaka
MF Takeuchi
MF Kawai

FW Omae
FW Radoncic
FW Nagasawa

Subs Used

Sugiyama on for Takeuchi (90)
Murata on for Kawai (90)
Muramatsu on for Novakovic (93)

Report

So starting today I was able to watch from Nihondaira's press zone. The reason for this is I will be providing match reports for Afshin Ghotbi's official website. Find today's here. Aimed more generally at the English speaking world, these will report the game from a Shimizu slant, but much less partisan than this blog. Fear not, as this site will continue with my own personal views and opinions of our season as it unfolds.

So how is it unfolding? Better and better! We should have had this wrapped up earlier than we did, but that said it never really felt like Omiya were about to get back in it. Genki had one chance in particular shortly after Novakovic's goal to double the lead but, most unlike him, drilled it straight at the keeper. In a similar situation in additional time he made no mistake, firing home with relish.

I can't praise Genki's performance highly enough. He was everywhere today. Nagasawa and Nova may be the target of crosses and the main men for Omae's corner kicks, but just behind them Genki covers so much ground and gives the opposition a torrid time of it. Jakovic is improving and fitting in better. I thought his stampedes up the right flank gave Omiya all kinds of problems, and with a little bit more sharpness I can see him creating some serious chances.

We're up to tenth, but with it still being so early we're only five points off the top. Next week we travel to Tokushima Vortis.

Bottom of the table.
P7 W0 D0 L7
F1 A22

All being well we should take three points which will put us anywhere up to 5th. The season's getting going, and so are we. Onwards and upwards!

Videos

The goals:


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Ventforet Kofu 0-1 S-Pulse

Barry BARRY WRITES... 

Ventforet Kofu 0-1 S-Pulse
----------------------------------------------------- Nagasawa 22

Att 10144
3pm, Yamanashi Chugin Stadium
Kofu city, Yamanashi prefecture

Line Up

GK Kushibiki

DF Jakovic
DF Hiraoka
DF Jong-a-Pin
DF Yoshida

MF Takeuchi
MF Musaka
MF Kawai

FW Omae
FW Nagasawa
FW Novakovic

Subs Used

Muramatsu on for Nagasawa (75)
Sugiyama on for Takeuchi (84)
Murata on for Omae (94)

Report

A good result in trying conditions. Our first clean sheet of the year, our second away win, and Nagasawa's fifth game in a row to score. The goal was a gift after former S-Pulse boy Aoyama didn't put enough on his back pass leaving the keeper no chance. Nova picked the ball up, dodged a defender's challenge, and squared it to Nagasawa, who won't score many easier goals in his career.

Moments later we though Shun had doubled our lead, but was just offside. Up until that point we'd bossed the game, but the tide turned and the home team took it to us for long periods. The second half especially we were on the back foot and but for the woodwork Ventforet would have leveled the score. They didn't, we defended stoically, and saw the game out.

We climb up to 14th, but only three points from 4th. To give some perspective, from our opening six fixtures four were away. Three of those were at tough places like Nagoya, Urawa and Cerezo. In Omiya (H), Sendai and Tokushima (H), we've got three winnable games coming up. Take maximum points and we'll be in, or very close to, the ACL spots.

It's my bedtime. Night night!

Videos

Highlights.


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

S-Pulse 1-0 Gamba Osaka (Nab Cup Group Stage)

Barry BARRY WRITES... 

S-Pulse 1-0 Gamba Osaka
Nagasawa 33

Att 8033
7pm, Nihondaira Stadium
Shizuoka city, Shizuoka prefecture

Line Up

GK Kushibiki

DF Hiraoka
DF Jakovic
DF Jong-a-Pin

MF Yoshida
MF Ishige
MF Musaka
MF Honda
MF Takeuchi

FW Omae
FW Nagasawa

Subs Used

Novakovic on for Honda (51)
Kawai on for Ishige (63)
Muramatsu on for Nagasawa (86)

Report

Kenta Hasegawa's first visit to Nihondaira as an opposition manager didn't end happily for the former Shimizu boss. His newly promoted Gamba Osaka were left ruing their wasted chances as they returned to Kansai pointless. If tonight was all about taking chances, then it was us who did what was required. 4 shots to G. Osaka's 14, Nagasawa's poke home just after the half hour was the difference.

I've not been so glad to get home from a game for while. The constant cold drizzle started to grate in the 2nd half, and the frequent Osaka shots were doing nothing for my nerves. We dug in though, held on and the three points are ours. They keep us top of Nabisco Cup group A, and with game three our game off (there are seven teams in the group) our next fixture is not until May 21st. Up to Tokyo midweek to meet Ota and friends once more.

I may write some more tomorrow, but for now I'm tired and need a cup of tea. In my S-Pulse mug, obviously. :)

Videos

Highlights:


Monday, 31 March 2014

S-Pulse 1-3 FC Tokyo

Barry BARRY WRITES... 

S-Pulse 1-3 FC Tokyo
Nagasawa 5 --------------- Kawano 44
--------------------------------- Morishige 57
--------------------------------- Yonemoto 82

Att 14420
3pm, Nihondaira Stadium
Shizuoka city, Shizuoka prefecture

Line Up

GK Kushibiki

DF Yoshida
DF Hiraoka
DF Jonga-a-Pin
DF Kawai

MF Takeuchi (56)
MF Musaka
MF Omae
MF Takagi T

FW Nagasawa
FW Novakovic

Subs Used

Takagi Y on for Takeuchi (64)
Lee Kiji (71) on for Takagi T (70)
Ishige on for Yoshida (81)

Report 

Here are the highlights:


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Urawa Red Diamonds 1-1 S-Pulse

Barry BARRY WRITES... 

Urawa 1-1 S-Pulse 
Haraguchi 75 --------- Nagasawa 19

Att 0
3pm, Saitama Stadium
Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture

Line Up 

GK Kushibiki

DF Ishige
DF Hiraoka
DF Jong-a-Pin
DF Yoshida

MF Kawai
MF Musaka
MF Takeuchi

FW Omae (69)
FW Novakovic
FW Nagasawa

Subs Used

Sugiyama on for Takeuchi (65)
Honda on for Ishige (70)
Takagi T on for Nagasawa (86)

Report

For all the wrong reasons of course, but this weekend saw a first for S-Pulse: our game was reported on by the BBC.

At 1-0 up Yoshida had a wonderful chance to double our lead, and it came from a lovely bit of build up. Alas it wasn't to be. I was otherwise engaged and didn't see the game, so apart from that, I'll let the highlights speak for themselves. On the face of it not a bad away draw against a team meant to be challenging for the title come December.

This Saturday we welcome FC Tokyo to town, kick off 3pm. They lost 4-0 at home today and are yet to pick up a win this year.

Highlights

Here you go.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

S-Pulse 4-0 Vegalta Sendai (Nab Cup Group Stage)

Barry BARRY WRITES... 

S-Pulse 4-0 Vegalta Sendai
Nagasawa 21
Omae 32
Novakovic 68, 74

Att 5291
7pm, Nihondaira Stadium
Shizuoka city, Shizuoka prefecture

Line Up

GK Kushibiki

DF Yoshida
DF Hiraoka
DF Kawai

MF Musaka
MF Jong-a-Pin
MF Takeuchi
MF Takaki

FW Omae
FW Takagi Y.
FW Nagasawa

Subs used

Novakovic on for Takaki (61)
Kaneko on for Omae (73)
Lee Ki-Je on for Kawai (79)

Report

Tonight was just what we needed. The 4-0 scoreline tells some of the story, but not all of it. Big news aside from the four goals and clean sheet included a first J. League goal for Nagasawa (he got one in the Emperor's Cup a while back, however), successful debuts for both Takagi Y and Kaneko, and a return to action for left back Lee Ki-Je.

Nagasawa's header, albeit a totally free one, was taken perfectly. He was achingly unlucky not add a second when he crashed a shot against the bar in the second half. With only the keeper to beat, a little more composure would have seen him put in the bottom corner. He's certainly accomplished with his head, but seemed a little hesitant when he had the ball at his feet. That touch will come with time, though. He had a decent game, and his unselfishness saw him lay it off for Novakovic's second and our 4th.

Yoshiaki Takagi had a good debut, covering a lot of ground and himself hitting the woodwork at one stage. Kaneko came on for the final 15 minutes and put himself about. Happy to have a go, he sprayed a couple of shots at the Sendai goal, making his presence felt.

At 2-0 Sendai pushed incessantly up the pitch to try and get back into the game leaving them exposed on the counter time and again. Aside from twice hitting the post we might have had a couple more. We put in a good attacking performance and looked dangerous. The win puts us top of our group on goal difference. Our next Nabisco Cup game is April 2nd, when we welcome Kenta Hasegawa back to Nihondaira. He returns with his Gamba Osaka side which should prove a tasty face off.

Quick mention for Hiraoka, who often goes unsung as an indispensable part of our back four. He's grown immensely over the last few years and was his usual solid self tonight. He would definitely be missed.

Videos

Highlights.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Cerezo vs Shimizu - Aisha's perspective

FuzFuz writes:

I don't get to many games these days. Its not for lack of interest, but living in Osaka means I don't have the pleasure of watching S-Pulse very often. Add to that a full time job, a cheeky four year old and a university course in my free (haha) time, and its just another thing I wish I could do more often. Last year when we played Cerezo I was bullied by a then three year old into going to Disneyland instead.


Anyways, it was a year and a half since my last game and I almost wish it still was, after yesterday. We didn't just lose, 4-1 is a proper drubbing.  Based on that, I decided after consulting with Barry to report the game from the four year old's perspective, because she had a great time and has been singing S-Pulse songs non-stop ever since.

From the moment I told her where we were going for the day, it was all about Pal-chan. She ran to get the ears, and would have taken her stuffed Pal and Pikal if I had let her. Despite Cerezo's Robbie sympathizing with the S-Pulse support as we cannot attend next weeks match at Urawa, he did not cut the mustard with Aisha. Nor did his female counterpart as she rode around on her bicycle. "But where's Pal-chan, Mummy? I want to see him!"

It was almost her first game ever, and to be honest, I expected her to be bored silly and distract me from the game. But NO! She asked good questions, and started to understand, even yelling out a "YES!!!" followed by a disappointed "oh, no" as the Cerezo keeper punched away what had looked like a promising on-target attempt.  She got angry with events leading up to our penalty -" that pink man is MEAN." and yelled "go go go" when we were on the attack. 

She wasn't impressed that we didn't win. But apparently we will the next time, and she is definitely interested in going to more games. I plan to get her to Nihondaira as soon as possible - shame there isn't a derby to go to this year. In the meantime, orange has replaced pink as her favourite colour, and that is no mean feat.

To sum it up : "I like S-Pulse Mummy. Shimizu is the best!"