S-Pulse 2-1 Niigata
Ono 57---------------------- Ishikawa 5
Takahara 90 -------------- Suzuki sent off (55)
Omae on for Koboyashi (HT)
Nagai on for Ono (78)
Takagi on for Edamura (78)
I'm bloody knackered, so I'm going to write this either Sunday or Monday. In a nutshell, Niigata were the most one dimensional team to come to Nihondaira this year, and despite taking an early lead, we always controlled the game. After the red card, Niigata's game plan was to keep nine men behind the ball with the Brazilian striker waiting upfield for long balls to hit us on the counter.
Well, it's a bit later than I hoped, but I've had a busy weekend celebrating a UKU wedding (not mine!) and have finally just been able to sit down and write a bit more. As I mentioned, Niigata were not so good, but their goal was very well taken and they almost had two after we made a mess of a back pass.
With the man advantage we were always in control, save for a couple of the counter attack breaks. We just didn't seem able to create the killer chance. That was until a Takagi shot forced a corner, and another piece of perfect predatory positioning penetrated the Niigata defence. The goal, right on the stroke of the 90th minute sent us all barmy and Takahara was visibly loving it. If he keeps this up (and I think he just might) I might just forget he ever used to play for iwata.
We're up to sixth and face Cerezo on Saturday for a chance to climb into the top three. Ole!
By the way, out of our starting 11, EIGHT were natives of Shizuoka prefecture. Ota was the only non Shizuokan Japanese, and that is pretty impressive if you ask me.
Personal videos. First Ono's penalty.