S-Pulse 5-1 Jubilo Iwata
Iwashita 2 ----------------- Maeda 44
GK K. Yamamoto
Fujimoto on for Hyodo (73)
Nagasawa on for Johnsen (85)
3-0? Pah, that's nothing. 5-1 on the day, that's 5-4 in aggregate. There's only one team in Shizuoka, and today underlined that fact not once, not twice, but five times.
Maeda very nearly pulled one back for Iwata when he smashed a volley against the bar, but less than ten minutes after that we were celebrating again. Our third came from some uncharacteristically elegant play from Hyodo, as he brought a high ball down and evaded the defender on the turn to score a stunning goal. It sent the packed stadium wild, and Jubilo must have known there was no coming back.
We twice hit the bar, the second time when substitute Nagasawa went achingly close to grabbing a sixth, but let's not be greedy. This was the biggest league Shizuoka Derby victory of all time, with a four goal margin eclipsing anything Jubilo could manage even during their glory years. How long ago they must seem to the blue masses who were scuttling for the exits with five minutes still to go...
We're now unbeaten in eight, winning five of those. As is our tradition to start poorly and warm up with the summer, we're up to third. This is before the Sunday games for Gamba Osaka and Kawasaki Frontale, but regardless of their results, we're looking well placed for an ACL challenge. Antlers are still eight points clear of second place, and still look pretty much uncatchable at the top. That said, Urawa were seven points clear with, what? four games left in 2007, and they managed to blow it. We still have eleven games remaining, so who knows! Our game with Kawasaki next Sunday will be a huge chance to set out our intentions, so I may just have to head up to the Todoroki.
For now, I'm just going to enjoy a classic day down at Daira. We were incredible. :)
Official pictures can be found here (top row). Full highlights:
Post match Loco Loco - including Kenta!
And finally, an excellent compilation video of one of the best ever nights down Nihondaira: