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BARRY WRITES...  I really should have thought of doing this as soon as highlights became available officially on YouTube a while back. Be...

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Kawasaki 1-1 S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

Kawasaki 1-1 S-Pulse
Ito 92 ------------------------------Iwashita 77

Att: 20,689

Report

Just when we threaten to put a run together capable of closing the gap on Kashima we go and let three points slip through our fingers in the most infuriating of circumstances. Yeah, I'd have probably taken this result before the game, but going into three minutes of stoppage time 1-0 up we conspired to give away countless free kicks and hand a share of the spoils on a plate to the home team.

The string of free kicks awarded by the ref ultimately culminated in a foul perfectly positioned for an excellent cross to be swung on to the head of Ito. He put it home and Iwashita's opener was cancelled out. Kawasaki had been all over us for the final ten minutes, hitting the post once and making Kaito work his hardest as they swarmed all over our half of the pitch, so the goal wasn't a great surprise.

Kawasaki have to next face Kashima, Urawa and G. Osaka in three games which will pretty much make or break their season. As for us, we have the (on paper) less daunting prospect of Omiya, Yamagata and Kobe. All winnable, and if we hope to make an ACL spot, then we pretty much have to take maximum points from them. Before all that, it's FC Tokyo in the semi final of the cup. Home on Wednesday, away on Sunday.

Line Up


GK K. Yamamoto

DF Ichikawa
DF Aoyama
DF Iwashita
DF Ota

MF Edamura
MF Honda
MF Ito
MF Hyodo

FW Johnsen
FW Okazaki

Subs Used

Paulo on for Hyodo (67)
Fujimoto on for Edamura (74)

Links

Click here for The Rising Sun's report of the evening. In my report above I held my tongue regarding the free kick which led to the goal as I didn't want to sound like it was just sour grapes talking, but Matsu at The Rising Sun clearly had an issue with it too. It certainly felt like we were giving away a crazy number of free kicks in stoppage time, and maybe I wasn't just being paranoid after all...

Highlights

Further to my above comment about the free kick, I just found this video which shows first, Ichikawa getting called for offside when he was a good yard or two onside, and then second, Okazaki getting penalised for that foul. Hard to see too much without a replay, but any contact seems pretty minimal and the Kawasaki player went to ground only when it was apparent the ball was getting away from him:



Just to be clear on that "offside":

1
2

Not only is he clearly onside, he's in his own half! In this video you can see Kenta's reaction who is right behind the linesman and had the same view of it. I'm not sure I subscribe to the crooked official theory, but both this and the free kick appear to be very poor decisions by the linesman and the ref. Very bad officiating by rookie referee Masaki Nabeshima, and these mistakes changed the outcome of the game. Permission to feel hard-done-by?

Full highlights:

Sunday, 23 August 2009

S-Pulse 5 (FIVE) - 1 Jubilo

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 5-1 Jubilo Iwata
Iwashita 2 ----------------- Maeda 44
Edamura 10
Hyodo 24
Edamura 57
Okazaki 75

Att. 20116

Line Up

GK K. Yamamoto

DF Ichikawa
DF Aoyama
DF Iwashita
DF Ota

MF Edamura
MF Honda
MF Ito
MF Hyodo

FW Johnsen
FW Okazaki

Subs used

Fujimoto on for Hyodo (73)
Nagasawa on for Johnsen (85)

Report

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.

Jubilo prepare for the spanking of their lives

Nihondaira was heaving for another sell out; the biggest game of the season bar none. After the horror of getting beaten 3-0 back in April, we had it all to prove, and we didn't need long to get things going. We burst out the traps and were two up within ten minutes. The first was from Iwashita, and as you can probably guess it was from a corner. Edamura doubled the lead eight minutes later, and suddenly my pre-match prediction of 10-0 wasn't looking entirely improbable.

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.
All smiles in the S-Pulse end

Maeda did manage to pull one back in first half stoppage time, and the goal puts him level with Okazaki and Kawasaki's Juninho at the top of the top scorers table, all with 12. With that goal on the board, the visitors came out the stronger in the second half, but it was Edamura again who was there to bring down a loose ball and slam it home to make it four just before the hour. The party in the stands well and truly began when Okazaki beautifully sent it through Kawaguchi's legs to make it 5.

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...

Even Kenta joined Loco Loco - he later said once was enough!

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. :)

Videos etc:


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:



:)

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Kyoto 0-1 S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

Kyoto 0-1 S-Pulse
----------------------------Fujimoto 79

Att. 10685

Line Up

GK K. Yamamoto

DF Ichikawa
DF Aoyama
DF Iwashita
DF Ota

MF M. Yamamoto
MF Honda
MF Ito
MF Hyodo

FW Johnsen
FW Okazaki

Subs used

Fujimoto on for K. Yamamoto (63)
Arata on for Ota (82)
Paulo on for Okazaki (86)

Report

Having eschewed the Shimizu branch of the S-Pulse Dream House chain, me and a mate made our way up to the wonderfully named Cafe Snuggery to watch this evening's face off with Kyoto. The owner is a huge football and S-Pulse fan, so if he's not at the game himself, he broadcasts away games on his plasma screen. The food and drink is top notch, so even when there's no game to watch, I can't recommend lunch or dinner there highly enough.

Anyway, about the game. After the Kyoto comeback from 3-1 down last month, which had culminated in the smash and grab at the death, I ready to accept vengeance by any means. That stoppage time goal by Lee put a dampener on an entire evening's drinking, felt like a loss, and will go down as two points lost (not unlike Aurelio's 88th minute penalty miss against Omiya last season).

Well tonight, Kyoto fans will probably be feeling much like we were after Lee's equaliser. Substitute Fujimoto's excellent freekick came off the back of a dubious decision in our favour, as the gangling Johnsen went to ground in perfect Jungo territory. After we took the lead, we were hanging on for grim life as Kyoto brought more than one excellent save out of Kaito. Again, he was the difference between three points and none.

Around the 88th minute, both Jungo and Honda conspired to miss an incredible chance to put the game beyond doubt, and so it was went into stoppage time throwing everything we behind the ball to keep hold of all three points. We'd let a handful of other great opportunities slip by over the course of the 90 minutes, not least a one on one which I would have put money on Okazaki putting away. So Kyoto, with memories of the 3-3, were not going to put off by a mere one goal deficit. They twice nearly had it in the net right at the end, and when the ref finally blew the whistle, a win somehow felt like a draw.

It's our fourth away win in a row, and while it was far from pretty at the end, we had spells of fluid, attacking football, and on another day Okachan would have put that one away. Maybe these three points make up for some of the wins we've let slip this year. It puts us up to 5th, joint on points with Alibrex and Gamba, and with Antlers and Frontale both losing, we close the gap a little on the top two.

Videos etc

Here are the official pictures from tonight (top row). Full highlights:



This is a personal cam of the final moments and post match celebrations:

Sunday, 16 August 2009

S-Pulse 1-1 Niigata

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 1-1 Niigata
Okazaki 33 --------------- Márcio Richardes 76

Att. 20034

Line Up

GK K. Yamamoto

DF Ichikawa
DF Aoyama
DF Iwashita
DF Ota

MF Edamura
MF Honda
MF Ito
MF Hyodo

FW Johnsen
FW Okazaki

Subs used

M. Yamamoto on for Hyodo (63)
Fujimoto on for Honda (81)
Takaki on for Ito (88)

Report

A game we could have won. I've never seen a referee so trigger happy with the cards, and both teams suffered with a red card each. In what was far from a dirty game, I lost count of the number of free kicks awarded.

We opened the scoring with a trademark header from Okazaki. It almost tore a hole in the net and takes Okachan up to joint leading scorer in J1 with 11.
Another full house at Nihondaira

Niigata fell victim to the first of the red cards on 43 minutes when defender Gilton saw red after a second yellow. We were able to take advantage of the extra man and we rained down chance after chance on the Niigata goal. We had nearly three times the number of shots, and had six times the number of corners as the visitors, but time and again we were too sloppy in front of goal.

We paid the price for not making the most of our pressure when a stunning free kick from Márcio Richardes levelled the scores on 76. We still had the man advantage, but not for long. Two minutes later Edamura was sent off, him too for a second yellow.

After that, Alibirex looked more and more dangerous, but the clock ran down and time was up. It finished all square; a result neither team will be especially happy with. Albirex lose more ground on second place Kawasaki, and we miss the chance to go fourth.

Videos etc

Full highlights:



Right after Okazaki's header, in the melee behind the goal:



A video of our wall of colour pre-game with a stunning view of Mt. Fuji:



Official pictures are here (top row).

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

When is a Derby not a Derby?

BarryBarry writes:

When it's a DARBY.

We're all getting excited about the Shizuoka prefecture face-off next week. We're also looking forward to the orange head to head with Niigata this Sunday (for which there are only 1551 tickets left.) It looks like S-Pulse have got some great events lined up for supporters to enjoy each match day, so all credit to them. Both games are looking like sell outs, which is excellent work from all concerned.

I just wish that someone at the club website had stuck the word DERBY into a dictionary before making the, admittedly rather lovely, graphics used to promote the games. Click here to see when a DERBY becomes a DARBY... (^.^;)

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Magnitude 6 Quake Rocks Shizuoka

BarryBarry writes:

You know something is up when you're woken to find your furniture dancing around the apartment by itself. This morning just after 5am a big earthquake hit Shizuoka City and prefecture causing a lot damage, most minor but some major. A growing number of injuries are being reported but thankfully no deaths.
The wall at the moat of Sumpu Castle took it hard

We here at UK Ultras Towers are all fine, but shaken, and hoping the aftershocks stop sooner rather than later. Click here for full details.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Kim Dong-Sub out on Loan ★ Reserves ★ Niigata Tickets

BarryBarry writes:

Time for a news round up!

Kim Dong-Sub

Our twenty year old Korean Kim Dong-Sub was loaned out this week to J2 outfit Tokushima Vortis. Striker Dong-Sub has represented South Korea at national level at U15, U18 and U20 but is yet to make any first team appearances for us.

With Hara, Okazaki, Nagai and Johnsen all ahead of him, the club have chosen to loan him out where he will hopefully gain some match experience. The Shikoku side currently sit in 8th in the 18 team J2. He's due to return to the bright orange fold at the start of the new year. Read the full press release here (Japanese).

Reserves

Our reserves sides played two practice matches last weekend.

August 8th, 10:00am, Miho


S-Pulse Satellite 3-0 Fuji Tokoha University
Hara 4
Tsujio 47
Fujimoto 67

Nagai played most of the second half. :) Read full details here (Japanese).

August 8th, 4pm, Nihondaira

S-Pulse 0-1 Nagoya Grampus

Read full details here (Japanese).

Niigata Tickets

As of 5pm Monday evening, less than 3000 tickets remain for this Sunday's clash with Albirex Niigata. With a week still to go, we've already sold more than the same fixture attracted last year, and remain on course to maintain an average crowd way up on last season. For full details of remaining tickets, click here (Japanese). If you want to go, don't wait around - get your ticket asap. Speaking of which, the Derby is mere days away, and as previously mentioned this game will sell out, so don't delay!

Monday, 3 August 2009

Urawa 0-1 S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

Urawa 0-1 S-Pulse
-----------------------------Edamura (70)

Att: 45186

Line Up

GK K. Yamamoto

DF Ichikawa
DF Aoyama
DF Iwashita
DF Arata

MF Edamura
MF Ito
MF Honda
MF Hyodo

FW Okazaki
FW Johnsen

Subs used

Hara on for Okazaki (81)
M. Yamamoto on for Hyodo (83)
Takaki on for Edamura (87)

Report

An excellent result away in Saitama, and the second time we'd beaten Urawa in the space of five days. Kingdom Shimizu!!

A small section of our travelling barmy army

Our goal came from Edamura on 70 minutes, and we had a number of golden chances both before and after to create a bit more of a cushion, but as it was we went into the four minutes of stoppage time hanging on for grim life. Urawa could, and should, have scored at least once, but a lack of real teeth up front cost them, and as their fans concentrated on booing Okazaki, their side slumped to it's fourth defeat in a row.

Things were looking more and more panicy as the stoppage time minutes ticked by, but hang on we did! Together with the defeat of Gamba Osaka, this caps an excellent four weeks. Apart from the hellish stoppage time equaliser we conceeded to Kyoto, it's been a top month. We were unlucky not to beat Kashima, but we've picked up away points at Chiba, Osaka and now Urawa. Not to mention to progressing to the semi finals of the cup!

Life it never dull on the S-Pulse side of life, and now we have a well earned weekend off while the J. League v K. League All Star game takes place. I'm not especially sad to report no S-Pulse players are involved. The lads all deserve a weekend to themselves.

Moments after our goal
Next we face high flyers Albirex Niigata who will be a stern test. Niigata have both conceed the second least and lost the second least in J1 (both behind Kashima, rather predictably), so will be a very tough opponent. Unbeaten at home for well over a year, I'm confident we can turn them over, and in the process do the double over them - of only three defeats this year for Albirex, one was at home against us.

As for today, top job boys! You made a trip out to Saitama totally worth it. :)

Videos etc

Full highlights:



The last minute of stoppage time:


Official match pictures can be found here (top row).

And finally, from down Oita way, the greatest escape from J1 this season so far! 



Wow. Just wow! Ex-Pulser Fernandinho set up the equaliser, but surely Oita have left it too late to save their J1 skins?