Saturday, 27 November 2010

Kobe 1-0 Shimizu S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

Kobe 1-0 Shimizu S-Pulse
Mogi 83

Att. 14061

Line Up

GK Nishibe

DF Ichikawa
DF Hiraoka
DF Iwashita
DF Ota

MF Hyodo
MF Honda
MF
Ito T.

FW
Okazaki
FW Johnsen
FW Fujimoto

Subs Used

Tsujio on for Ichikawa (63)
Omae on for Hyodo (81)
Hara on for Ito T. (85)

Report

We blew it. Shortly before conceding we had a golden chance to take the lead but missed it. That said, Kobe were all over us for most the second half, including when they lost a man.

As always, the TV coverage was scandalously bad. One first half possible handball call in the box was ignored, and even the goal, which looked to me like the fella was offside, was only given one replay. From which angle? From behind the action, so it was impossible to tell. The way the TV companies censor the game is worthy of a BBC Panorama exposé. If there's a questionable call it's TV's fucking DUTY to show it from every angle possible until we know what happened.

Aaaah, bollocks. I'm just pissed off I won't be going to China for an away day next year. All credit to Kobe who totally earned the three points despite being a man down. They've probably left it too late, but for what it's worth, I hope they stay up.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

S-Pulse 2-1 Sanfrecce Hiroshima

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 2-1 Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Hyodo 15------------------- Lee 81
Iwashita 39

Att. 17143

Line Up

GK Nishibe

DF Ichikawa
DF Hiraoka
DF Iwashita
DF Ota

MF Hyodo
MF Honda
MF
Fujimoto

FW Omae
FW Nagai
FW Okazaki

Subs Used

Ito T. on for Omae (59)
Johnsen on for Nagai (66)
Ito S. on for Fujimoto (80)

Report

Three wins in a row? Blimey. This really has been a season of three halves. The first great, the second apocalyptic, and the third, well, pretty nervy but ultimately good. With this win we've as good as secured a top six finish, one better than last year, but with two games still to play and second place still in reach why stop there?!

Ladies and Gentlemen - the J. League :)

We burst out the gates and had the better of the first twenty or so minutes and had a chance or two to take the lead before Hyodo was there to smash Omae's pass into the back of the net. I'll be honest, when he wound up to hit it I found myself involuntarily flinching given the high probability of it sailing in my direction. And I stand in the back row of the second tier. :-D To be be fair to him, it was a peach of a strike and keeper had no chance.

We extended the lead through Iwashita, who hasn't scored his trademark goal-from-a-corner for a while, so that was good to see. But then we spent most the rest of the game on the back foot. Hiroshima had God only knows how much of the possession, but just couldn't make the last ball most the time.

Out with the old? Sho Ito replaces Jungo

Just when they looked like they wouldn't be able to make the break through, they did, and it ensured a very nervous end to the game. Tempers started to flair and mistakes abounded, but we held on for the win. All credit must go to Nishibe who made a stunning one handed save at point blank range. He managed to turn a bullet header onto the bar and single-handedly (literally) win us the game. Top work that man.

Two games to go. Nothing but two victories is good enough if we hope to claim an ACL spot, and if we beat Kobe on Saturday they'll be relegated. Yes, the title has been decided (not Kashima for once!) and the bottom two teams are already down, but there's still some drama left in the 2010 J. League season!

Videos

Personal cams of both goals. First Hyodo's thumper.



Iwashita's:



Kachiloco - with Kenta!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Vegalta Sendai 1-3 Shimizu S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

Vegalta Sendai 1-3 Shimizu S-Pulse
Sugai 15 ----------------------------------------Fujimoto 29, 45+3
------------------------------------------------------Omae 89

Att. 17050

Line Up

GK Nishibe

DF Tsujio
DF Hiraoka
DF Iwashita
DF Arata

MF Hyodo
MF Honda
MF
Ito

FW Okazaki
FW Johnsen
FW Fujimoto

Subs Used

Ono on for Fujimoto (76)
Omae on for Okazaki (78)
Ichikawa on for Tsujio (91)

Report

What a cracking weekend away that was. I've still not had time to write much about the game or the following festivities around Sendai city centre, but will as soon as I get the chance. And before that chance comes we have another game tomorrow! Woo!

---------------------------

I never did get the chance to write more about this game, but it was certainly one of the best away days in memory. Top clowning from start to finish. Thank you to Sendai City for having us!

Cow tongue - much better than it sounds
2nd half kick off

Sendai supporters as good as ever
Video

Full highlights.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Cup Quarter Final Venue Confirmed

BarryBarry writes:

Emperor's Cup 1/4 Final, Nihondaira Stadium
Christmas Day 2010

S-Pulse v Yamagata

Kick off 1pm.

HO HO HO.

So much for Sendai! :) If we make it through, the semi final will be played at 1pm, Ecopa on December 29th.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Yokohama F. Marinos 0-3 S-Pulse (Emp Cup 4th Rnd)

BarryBarry writes:

Yokohama F. Marinos 0-3 S-Pulse
------------------------------------------------------------------------Fujimoto 48
------------------------------------------------------------------------Okazaki 72, 81

Att. 6054

Line Up

GK Nishibe

DF Tsujio
DF Hiraoka
DF Iwashita
DF Ota

MF Hyodo
MF Honda
MF
Ono

FW Okazaki
FW Nagai
FW Fujimoto

Subs Used

Omae on for Fujimoto (75)
Ito T. on for Ono (82)
Ito S. on for Okazaki (89)

Report

S-Pulse produced a virtuoso display (possibly) to beat Marinos 3-0 away from home and progress to the quarter finals of the Emperor's Cup. The quarter final will be played on Christmas Day, meaning I risk a mammoth bust up with the other half if I attempt to make it. Bollocks. Well, we'll worry about that later. I'm off out to celebrate and make up for having not been there.

Next we meet Montedio Yamagata who we have beaten in out last four meetings with an aggregate score of 10-1. Ho ho ho. Let's not get cocky, but the draw has been kind. The game is rumoured to be at Sendai's Yurtec Stadium, but as soon as anything in confirmed I'll post it here.

Kampai!

Videos

Okazaki's second, which made it 3-0. Excellent travelling support for a wet Wednesday away from home.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

S-Pulse 5-0 Shonan Bellmare

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 5-0 Shonan Bellmare
Ono 45(+13)
Johnsen 57
Fujimoto 64
Okazaki 82, 88

Att. 16204

Line Up

GK Nishibe

DF Ichikawa
DF Hiraoka
DF Bosnar
DF Ota

MF Hyodo
MF Honda
MF
Ono

FW Okazaki
FW Johnsen
FW Fujimoto

Subs Used

Iwashita on for Bosnar (45)
Ito T. on for Ono (69)
Omae on for Hyodo (83)

Report

It's a bit different to England. The honour of being the ones to put the final nail in a team's relegation coffin is something you enjoy every moment of. You rub their noses in it over the course of the 90 minutes, and afterwards revel in the footage of their fans crying on the terraces. That's not exactly what happened today as we put our total against Shonan for the season to 11, at the same time ensuring they are down and out with four games still to play.

BeforeAfter

We weren't great, but Shonan are bottom of the table with 16 points for a reason. After sending them back to J2 after just one year back in the top flight what did we do? Why, we sang their team's name. Then they sang ours. Then all the women in the crowd burst into tears at the touchingness of it all. Yep, it's not quite the same as back home.

The first half was pretty uninspiring truth be told, with the most interesting thing being Nishibe breaking the goal. He stopped a corner going straight in, but wasn't able to stop himself tumbling into the side netting, pulling down a stanchion with him. It took a while, but the goal was fixed and play restarted. Rather than the clock stopping as you might expect, the interruption was added on as stoppage time. Hence Ono latching onto a perfect pass by Jungo to smash the ball home - in the 57th minute of the first half. It took the roof off the stadium, and changed the game.

A 57th minute first half goal? This was the reason

Up until half time we'd not really troubled the Shonan goal, but in the second half Bellmare's pretty clueless play was finally made to pay. Johnsen bagged a first goal for a while, and not long after the Ref went momentarily mad and awarded the softest penalty I've ever seen. Not only was Okazaki not fouled (merely made contact with a Shonan defender), but when he finally lost his footing (it wasn't a dive) he was a good foot or two outside the box.

Well, whatever. It made no difference. Shonan didn't get relegated on a dodgy penalty. They've been poor all season. After that, apart from one very good save from Nishibe, it was all S-Pulse, and Okazaki bagged a brace to take his total up to 13 for the year so far. Four games to go. Can we make an ACL position? Probably not, but that's not going to stop me and my UKU buddies hitting Sendai for a weekend of football, booze, scarf twirling and arm waving S-Pulse style!

¡Olé olé, olé olé!

Videos

Full highlights:

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Ventforet Kofu 6-0 Giravanz Kitakyushu

BarryBarry writes:

Ventforet Kofu 6-0 Giravanz Kitakyushu
Paulinho 16
Yabu 34, 70
Havenaar 37, 39, 51

Att. 11219

Line Up

Dunno.

Report

With a free day to kill, I decided to make the short trip to prefectural neighbours Kofu. Seeing as they are virtually now assured a promotion spot, I figured not only would it be a nice day out, it would also be a chance to do a spot of recon work on what we can expect next season. Apart from the vomit-inducingly stinky portacabin toilets (which by the end of the game were spilling their contents onto the concourse) it was a thoroughly good day out. Kofu demonstrated, albeit against the worst team in the the country, why they are heading for promotion back to J1, with Havenaar bagging a hat-trick in front of an adoring home crowd.

Kitakyushu never really troubled the home team, and Kofu looked like scoring nearly every time they went forward. At five nil, they seemed to sit back and be content to play out the rest of the game, but even then they managed a 6th goal. Kitakyushu's defense was shoddy at the best of times. It's no shock to see they have a goal difference of minus 37. Being their first year in the J. league they'll surely improve over the next few seasons.

Back to J1 next season - Kofu

Speaking of the crowd, over 11000 were treated to the home team's biggest win of the season. Given that Kitakyushu's fans numbered only double figures, next season Kofu may well be selling a few games out. More home fans, plus a thousand or two from the visitors, next year should see a few bumper crowds for sure. This puts into perspective jubilo's home gate yesterday. You'd think seeing as they just fluked their way to a cup title a few more people might show up, right? No, they got a measly 7400, 4000 less than Kofu, and only a couple of hundred more than what we managed during a bloody TYPHOON.

The big number 14 - Mike Havenaar

Anyway, today was about Kofu. I'm looking forward to visiting again next year, although not too thrilled about the distance between the end stands and the pitch. Another ground to rival the Banpaku and Todoroki for shiteness of view, and I'll be bringing a nose peg for the toilets. But at least it's another local team, so here's to a couple of good games with Kofu in 2011. J1 and J2 are entirely different prospects, as Shonan have found out, but good luck to Ventforet next year. Welcome back to J1!

Over 11000 for Kitakyushu's biggest defeat of the year

Videos

Here's a cute one of the Kofu fans' goal celebration dance.


Saturday, 6 November 2010

Cerezo Osaka 1-0 S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

Cerezo Osaka 1-0 S-Pulse
Komatsu 83

Att. 10877

Line Up

GK Nishibe

DF Ichikawa
DF Hiraoka
DF Bosnar
DF Ota

MF Hyodo
MF Honda
MF
Yamamoto

FW Okazaki
FW Johnsen
FW Fujimoto

Subs Used

Omae on for (62)
Nagai on for Johnsen (78)
Hara on for Ota (87)

Report

Another meek defeat. This season really can't end soon enough. A thorough clean out will be just what the doctor ordered. Onwards an upwards! The only thing left to play for is finishing above the scum for a fifth year running. It's not much, but it's something. :)

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Coaching Staff - All Change

BarryBarry writes:

Further to Kenta Hasegawa's exit, all but one of the current coaching staff will be quitting at the end of the season. Our head coach, two assistant coaches, physical coach and goal keeping coach are all heading for the door, with only one assistant coach, Tomofumi Kuriyama remaining. Full details can be found here.

Latest rumours have been putting Mito's manager Takashi Kiyama as favourite to take over the role of head coach. A soon as anything is official it'll be on here.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Hasegawa's Resignation Official - The Rumour Mill Begins

BarryBarry writes:

The end of Kenta's reign is now official. Whether he was simply denied a new contract or took the decision himself, I guess we'll have to wait to find out. Teruyoshi Ito and Daisuke Ichikawa are said to be leaving with him, with Frode also in his final year for us. Whoever takes us over next year will have a few squad numbers to fill.

Speaking of which, former Saudia Arabian national team manager, the Dutchman Gerard van der Lem, is being touted as a potential replacement for Kenta. Mito HollyHock manager Takashi Kiyama is also being mentioned. Another name also in the mix is that of Afshin Ghotbi, current Iranian national team coach. Hasegawa's timing is good insomuch as it gives the club a nice long period in which line up his successor.

Watch this space.