Monday, 27 June 2011

S-Pulse 1-0 Sendai

Barry Barry writes:

S-Pulse 1-0 Sendai
Brosque 81

Att. 13081

Line Up

GK Usui

DF Tsujio
DF Hiraoka
DF Iwashita
DF Ota

MF Ono
MF M. Yamamoto
MF Muramatsu
MF Brosque

FW Omae
FW Takahara

Subs Used

Takagi on for Omae (59)
Kobayashi on for Ono (71)
Nagai on for Takahara (78)

Report

A big win as S-Pulse managed what Sendai's previous 12 opponents couldn't - to beat them. They're very hard to score against, and it was a tight, tight game this evening, but it was the Ota --> Brosque combo as per the Kawasaki game which sealed it. Alex knocked in with some precision a cross on what was far from an easy bounce. Top work that man. His 5th in orange and a big, big goal to boot.

Touching banner (bottom) from Sendai to the world

It was a game that was always going to be won by one goal as the shots on target were few and far between, and the goal was only really a half chance which says a lot for how well Brosque took it.

We started the game with some enforced changes what with Bosnar out through suspension. Hiraoka dropped back to fill Eddy's space and Muramatsu, freshly back from U22 Olympic duty started in midfield with a long-time-no-see start for Masaki Yamamoto.

The first half saw few, if any, shots on target for either team, but we came out much better in the second, and the introduction of the always lively Takagi improved our options. He was soon surging in from the wing carving routes into the danger zone. Takahara didn't have a great deal of action and shortly after his replacement by Nagai the deadlock was broken as another excellent cross from Ota was met by Brosque on the half volley. The place went mad but Sendai were far from done. Only an excellent save by Usui, who made the right decision in rushing to meet the shot, stopped a near certain equaliser.

After that scare, Sendai were done and their excellent unbeaten run came to an end.
The team put Usui off during his interview :)

Ghotbi Says

Before we talk about the game, I want to talk about Sendai and the people of Sendai. For myself, my players, our supporters and all the people of Japan, Sendai are the real champions. Regardless of today's result, or their league position, Sendai are true champions. For their courage, fighting spirit and unity we have to applaud them.

As for the game, I'm really proud of my team because Sendai are a really hard team to beat. They fought well and defended tightly from start to finish and were really dangerous on the counter attack and from set plays. In the second half both teams had chances and it must have been an exciting game to watch.

When we play away in Sendai I hope to get involved in some charity work with my players.

Videos

Highlights.



A personal video of our winner (which I always prefer to the TV).

Thursday, 23 June 2011

S-Pulse 2-3 Kawasaki

Barry Barry writes:

S-Pulse 2-3 Kawasaki
Brosque 20 --------------- Inamoto 4
Ono 45 (pen) ------------- Yamase 13
----------------------------------Bosnar (og) 81
----------------------------------Igawa sent off 54

Att 12217

Line Up

GK Usui

DF Tsujio
DF Iwashita
DF Bosnar (Yellow 58)
DF Ota

MF Ono
MF Hiraoka (Yellow 60)
MF Brosque
MF Edamura

FW Omae
FW Takahara

Subs Used

Kobayashi on for Ono (46)
Takagi on for Hiraoka (65)
Nagai on for Omae (80)

Report

What a cock up. After working so hard to get back into the game we blew it despite the man advantage. Was it laziness? Complacency? Or just the underdog rising to the occasion as so often happens? The way I saw it, we just never calmed it down and made Kawasaki cover the extra space. Under the humidity and heat we had half an hour to stroke it around and fatigue the away team, but just couldn't figure it out. They got a bit of luck late on via Bosnar's attempted clearance finding the net and then we fell apart and lost all composure. We ended the game walloping long hopeful balls forward to nowhere.

Decent turn out for a week night - double what Jubilo had actually :-OThe whiniest team to visit Nihondaira so far this year
Moan moan moan - the entire outfield team no less

I hope we learn from this as a team. Fair play to Kawasaki, they totally deserved the win given how they responded to their red card. They created more than us in the second half despite most with the man less. This year is as good a chance as any for them to grab some silverware with the league wide open. I wouldn't begrudge them it for one moment but for one man.

Juninho's diving and play acting reached levels of farce. The man, while a talented player, is at times an embarrassment to watch. Can you imagine a game where all players were Juninho? It would resemble an undulating ocean of 22 bodies falling over dramatically then springing up when the freekick isn't given. The pitch would be a blur of outstretched arms and pleading eyes appealing emotively to the referee, and the game would be abandoned after five minutes as everyone gets sent off either for their constant "fouling" of Juninho (ie, every time they went within touching distance of a Juninho), or, if the referee isn't a complete simpleton, for play acting. Thank God there's only one of him, but even one man flailing around like a fairy is too many.

Onwards and upwards! Home to the only undefeated team in the country on Sunday - Vegalta Sendai. There seems to be the sentiment running through some websites that they are getting the benefit of some very sympathetic refereeing this season, so I'll take my very best ref berating voice with me up to Daira on Sunday evening.

Ghotbi Says

We started badly, especially the opening 20 minutes. We were always slow, a metre off the pace. And that's why we were 2-0 behind at home. But we responded magnificently and could get two goals of our own, and before half time we had a chance to take the lead.

We started the second half well, but after Kawasaki had a man sent off we didn't use that to our advantage. With a man extra I hoped we would have used the space of the pitch, and passed the ball around. Kawasaki gained courage after their red card and we got complacent and lacked motivation.

The referee influenced the game too much. Takagi's shot which hit the bar was the turning point. The hardest thing to take about this game is not the result but the fact we couldn't control the game in the second half. Even at 3-2 we had time, but we just started throwing long balls forward, and maybe that was a result of the players' frustration and tiredness.

Videos

Alex's header from Ota's cross to grab our first of the night.



Some Kawasaki highlights showing Takahara going down veeeeeery easily for the red card, and also that their third was an own goal by our boy Bosnar. It's not clear it was a shot or even if it was on target before Eddy tried to clear it. How on earth it can be credited to Kobayashi is a mystery to me.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Urawa 1-3 S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

Urawa 1-3 S-Pulse
Umesaki 80 -----------Bosnar 24, 86
-----------------------------Takahara 64

Att. 31921

Line Up

GK Usui

DF Tsujio
DF Iwashita
DF Bosnar
DF Ota

MF Ono
MF Hiraoka
MF Brosque

FW Omae
FW Takahara (Yellow 36)
FW Takagi

Subs Used

Edamura on for Ono (46)
Kobayashi on for Takagi (56)
Nagai on for Takahara (77)

Report

With goals from Bosnar (2!) and, of course, Takahara, we beat Urawa this evening. Everything will come Monday afternoon because I'm in a hotel in Yamanashi right now getting an early night ahead of my first half marathon. All I will say is GET IN!!! S-PULSE, YOU ARE BLOODY BRILLIANT!!! :))))))

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Well, I never got round to writing much more about this, but in summary it was a good result away from home with a fantastic second goal. A perfect diving header from Takahara after an equally perfect Genki cross. Naohiro is in great shape and if he keeps this up the doubters will be stuffed full of humble pie come December. When you consider he's only been starting as centre forward for the past five games, his recent haul is even more impressive.

It's been a little while, but we all know what he can do, and Bosnar's two free kicks were just unstoppable. Especially his second which must have been moving at some speed. Home to Kawasaki tomorrow under the lights. Looking forward to it. :)

Ghotbi Says

We were excellently organised and could control the game from start to finish. It's fantastic to give the fans a victory with some special goals. We showed our character after conceding to grab a third and wrap up the win.

Let's Talk About ME

If I can be self indulgent for a second, this is what I got up to this weekend (hence the delayed update to these pages).


13 miles before midday on a Sunday? Not something I'll be making a habit of, but might just do another half marathon in the not too distant future. :) I saw a couple of FC Tokyo shirts, a JEF United one and also an Omiya top. I mean to say I saw them as I was leaving them on a cloud of orange DUST. Go S-Pulse!

Videos

Extended highlights:



Bend it like Beckham? Nah, mate. BELT IT LIKE BOSNAR.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

S-Pulse 2-1 Yamagata

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 2-1 Yamagata
Takahara 68 ----\\\------ Okubo 88 (pen)
Brosque 94 (pen)

Att. 10745

Line Up

GK Usui

DF Tsujio
DF Iwashita (Yellow 26)
DF Bosnar
DF Ota

MF Ono
MF Hiraoka
MF Brosque

FW Omae
FW Takahara
FW Takagi

Subs Used

Kobayashi on for Omae (58)
Edamura on for Ono (68)
Nagai on for Hiraoka (89)

Report

Blimey O'Reilly. Not good for the nerves in any way, and not something that can sugarcoat an otherwise below par performance, but an ending to the game to blow away some of the cobwebs that may have recently gathered around the stands of Nihondaira. When Alex calmly stroked his 94th minute penalty home the place simply exploded.

We've all seen endings to games like this before. Or rather we've seen them up to the late, late equaliser and then the frantic attacking of the conceding team. More often than not it leads to nought by frustration, but last night, deep in injury time, a needless grasping of Takahara's shirt while he jumped for a header meant penalty number three - this time for the home team. It was a soft penalty, but then I'm struggling to remember the last time I saw one that wasn't. You just don't don't see clattering "professional" fouls anymore, which is something of a shame, if I'm honest. :)
A first half stoppage time penalty which had to be retaken (and then Usui saved it)

Yamagata should stay up this year. I hope they do. If they can avoid major injuries and play with the fight they showed in this game then they will. Until we scored, and especially in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, we were struggling to deal with them. Their first penalty, in first half stoppage time, was finely saved after it was made to be retaken by Usui, and this no doubt changed the game.

Edamura was brought on in the 68th minute to create different options in the centre and to allow Alex to move further forward. The effects were immediate. A fine passing move from defence to attack ended in a brilliant run by Ota into the danger zone. He played it across the six yard box to Takahara who knocked in the easiest goal of his career. He's on four for the season and since he's been playing centre forward looks like scoring most games. Great to see him proving some of the doubters wrong. The best is still yet to come I don't doubt.
The moment our penalty was awarded

So yep, job done after a fashion, but three points is what counts. Saturday is off to Saitama for Takahara's old (if short lived) stomping ground. I know he'll be wanting to exorcise some of the memories of his time at the SaiSuta. A period when Urawa should have been building off of national and continental titles but were instead imploding spectacularly on and off the pitch. Not a surprise he couldn't perform under those circumstances. The poor fella as good as ran from Saitama at the first opportunity, and now playing in his old back yard in a stable environment he's showing what he can still do. Another couple on Saturday please mate!
Ghotbi and friend
:)

Ghotbi Says

Translated from the Japanese back to English by me. Any mistakes are my own.

"It was a really interesting game. Yamagata fought from start to finish. Especially up to the hour mark we were finding it hard to play our own game against their strong physical style. However, after the hour we were able to start playing our own high paced passing game using space well and scored a great goal.

After our goal we were able to control the game. But we couldn't convert our chances and Yamagata got a penalty, but after the equalising goal we showed great spirit to bounce back. Putting Nagai on mean we had two up front, and if you include the wingers, four. In that formation we could put pressure on Yamagata, create chances and ultimately forced a penalty.

It was a really exciting last half hour for the fans. I was delighted to see the supporters' happy faces at the end. Nihondaira is a special place."

Videos

Yet to find full highlights, so here's a few personal videos which tell the story. First, Yamagata's spot kick at the end of the first half. The first attempt was called back for encroachment. Call me a big softy, but seeing how happy the Yamagata fans are when the first kick goes in, I can't help feeling like a dick given the manner in which we beat them.



Taking the lead by way of Bosnar -> Ota -> Edamura -> Ota -> Takahara -> GOAL. Takahara at .40 makes me go :))))



Yamgata get a penalty in the 88th minute and Okubo makes no mistake.



Finally, our last gasp penalty:

Monday, 13 June 2011

Not Knowing When to Call it a Day

BarryBarry writes:

The phenomenon of Not Knowing When to Call it a Day. It happens to the best of us. Go on then, one more beer. Next thing you know it's 4:30am and you have to be at work in three hours.

This Sunday it happened to referee Mr Hiroyuki Kimura down at Tokushima v Okayama. Nearly 5000 people had turned up, so it's only fair to make sure the game goes ahead, right?



What a bloody mess. I couldn't see this game being played in a million years in England.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

G. Osaka 2-2 S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

G. Osaka 2-2 S-Pulse
Adriano 15 --------------------Ota 47
Usami 57 ----------------------Omae 50

Att. 16315

Line Up

GK Usui

DF Tsujio
DF Iwashita
DF Bosnar (Yellow 80)
DF Ota
DF Hiraoka

MF Muramatsu
MF Brosque

FW Omae
FW Takahara (Yellow 62)
FW Takagi

Subs Used

Kobayashi on for Iwashita (64)
Ono on for Takahara (64)
Nagai on for Brosque (81)

Report

I've spent Saturday evening at a fellow S-Pulse fan's wedding second party (Congrats, T&S!) so didn't see the game. Decent result away from home though. We got lucky with Omae's freekick to take the lead after a shocking defensive lapse from the home team, but then Usami got equally lucky with his long shot wickedly deflected off (I think Ota's) shin. It sent the ball curving beautifully but annoyingly into the top corner, and Usui had no chance.

The speedy Adriano put Gamba in front from a corner after beating everyone, including a flapping Usui, to the ball. So it was at half time, but we drew level from the unlikely source of Ota. A penetrating cross was swung in from the left which Takahara met with a near perfect volley. Near perfect because it was straight at the keeper. But thanks to the power of the shot, Fujigaya couldn't hope to hold to onto it and the rebound fell out wide to Hiraoka. He nodded it back into the danger zone and Ota was on hand to poke it home.

All told, a point away at the Banpaku is no bad result, and a couple of goals on the road is a positive. Bosnar, who gets some very harsh treatment from the J. League refs, picked up another yellow. I've not seen it, so can't comment on this instance, but he's been very hard done by in the past. The officials see a huge body and, by comparison, little opponent, and call the foul against him. It happens far more than it should.

Wednesday evening we entertain Yamagata at home. Montedio lost at home yesterday and are looking set for a long hard season. Sitting in the relegation spots with only one win to their name we have to be looking for all three points. Can't blolody wait. It feels like an age since I've been up Nihondaira.

The league table is a bit of a mess right now with Reysol top and Sendai and Kobe in the top five while Nagoya and Kashima are in the bottom half. Things will no doubt settle down over the summer. Anyway, three points on Wednesday please, boys!

Selected Comments From Ghotbi

OK, I figure it's time to try my hand at translating. The following comments are from the official match information page having been spoken by Afshin, translated into Japanese and now translated back by me. Bit of an arse about tit way to go about it, but hey ho. Any mistakes are mine. I'm no professional translator. Just hoping to communicate the gist for the English speaking world.

Ghotbi: With four goals, it was a great game for the fans. We can be proud of the way we came back after going behind to a good team like Gamba. We started well, but the first chance we let Gamba have the talented Adriano put them ahead. That goal was a blow to our confidence and it took a little time to get that back.

We started the second half well with two goals from set plays, but Gamba responded with some of their best football, and could equalise. At that point I brought on Ono and Kobayashi to take more control of the game.

Gamba ended really strongly and we were maybe a little fortunate to end the game 2-2. For our young team this was a good result. Gamba Osaka are the best team we've played so far this season. I hope we can can play like this again in our next home game.

Videos

Highlights.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Kofu 1-0 S-Pulse (Nab Cup)

BarryBarry writes:

Kofu 1-0 S-Pulse
Havenaar 66

Att. 10466

Line Up

GK Usui

DF Tsujio
DF Iwashita
DF Bosnar (Yellow 2)
DF Ota

MF Edamura (Yellow 61)
MF Muramatsu
MF Kobayashi (Yellow 22)

FW Omae
FW Ito (Yellow 15)
FW Takagi

Subs Used

Nagai on for Kobayashi (55)

Report

I didn't go or watch it (girlfriend service time) but all the result means is we have to score in the home leg which we would have had to have done anyway.

I went to Yokohama FC v Verdy yesterday because I was free and the other half was at work, so here's a picture or two.

The visitors in fine voice
Two goals in two minutes for 10 men Yokohama
Our Takagi's younger bro came on for a bit and looked like a chip off the old block
The first home win of the season for the former Flügels

I managed to miss the red card as my pre-halftime toilet run backfired spectacularly. I only noticed the home team were down to ten men after they'd scored two in two minutes to go ahead. Must pay more attention in future.

Mitsuzawa is a cracking little stadium, but the tight gangways behind the stands are not built for crowds. Good job only 4000 were there yesterday. ;) You're right on top of the action though, so you can forgive the place's shortcomings. The beer lovelies didn't stop all game, and very lovely they were too. Verdy fans were not happy as you might imagine, but fair play to Yokohama, they held on doggedly for their first home win against the odds.

A special mention must go to the CoCo Ichi on the west side of Yokohama station. A piping hot curry rice served to specification within two minutes. Top work, that restaurant. Five minutes we have to wait in Shizuoka. FIVE MINUTES!!! The bar has been raised.

Videos

Back on topic, here's Kofu's goal from today. Looks like Usui got proper done on the near post. Check out the travelling masses behind the far goal though. Just sent a shiver down my spine seeing how many made the trip. Respect.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Punishment from Jubilo RE: Banner

BarryBarry writes:

Released by Jubilo on Friday, the verdict after the Ghotbi nuclear banner. In summary:

1) The two who hung the banner are indefinitely banned from all J.League matches, this may be lifted in the future.

2) The president and vice president of the main jubilo supporter group Progresso, are banned from J.League matches until the end of this season.

3) Beginning in July all banners and flags at Jubilo home games must be approved ahead of time by the club and are limited to player names and 'content supporting the players'. No anti S-Pulse flags for the derby as per in the past, then. They won't screen stuff in June but security will ask anyone with non-compliant flags to either put it away or leave the stadium.

With thanks to Dokool of Aishiteru Tokyo for translations help.

Note that this is not the J. League's verdict, which will follow at a later date.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Iranian Fans' Response to Nuclear Banner

BarryBarry writes:

Since Saturday this blog has had more visitors from more corners of the world than ever before. A shame it had to come off the back off controversy, but such is life. The news spread all over the globe in hours, including to Iranian news sites. Here's a selection of comments from various Iranian message boards.

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Gorbi

After reading the article and watching some of the videos, I have to say that I am impressed with the Japanese fans who will not stand for such BS. I think what they had on the banner was rather dumb, but not necessarily racist. Also reading the comments left by fans, I am impressed by the responses. Looks to me like the vast majority of the fans in Japan are decent and don't care for such stupidity. Good for them, our own fans can learn a thing or two from the Japanese.


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Anon

Gorbi I disagree and think it is very racist to bring up the nationality of a coach into club rivalry. ... We Iranians have to stand up to these racist behavior.

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futbol IRAN

thats a shame considering how much Iran helped Japan during the earthquake tragedy!

tasteless and immature fans!


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Persianking

lol personally I feel not insulted by this but still a bad move , did not expect that.

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Babak agha

That's not remotely racist!!! You guys need to get the difference between racism and stereotyping ;-)


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dokhtar92irooni

That's harsh and insulting to all Iranians

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maij

That is NO WHERE near ..., I say again NO WHERE & NO WAY near a racist comment!!

You need to understand the difference between Political comment and Racist comment. That banner about Nuclear weapon production is POLITICAL not race.


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Ardalan

It may not be racism, but it sure is "loos and bimaze". Like saying, the only things Italian do is eat Spaghetti, or all Chinese people know martial arts like Jackie Chan. Ridiculous and predictable generalizing is what is it.
But then again, this does not by any means represent the view of the majority of Japanese football fans. It's just a demonstration of lousy sense of humor


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allan123

True, this only from Jubilo Iwata Fans and the Japanese people are very nice.
But This comment "To Gotbi, stop making nuclear weapons" I don't like.


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Webmaster

That is NOT a racist comment but a political one. ... I have not seen any people more polite and real than the Japanese in the entire world, so I am sure they are not meaning anything racist. (And that is the majority in my opinion)

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P.Nima

We shouldnt be angered by this at all. There were just a couple of fans behind this. The banner was quickly pulled down, they were kicked out, and the club apologized to Ghotbi. What more can you want from them?

We cant expect everyone in Japan to be homogeneously perfect, there are jackasses in every country.


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Mehran

I for one, do not find this kind of racist behavior funny. Good for the Shimizu supporters for shutting down these Jubilo little punks and their idiotic banner.

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Some people not bothered, others deeply insulted. Anyway, I guess it's time to leave this be for now while we wait for the J. League's response.

One unfortunate upshot of everything is that next year's home derby may end up now being played at Ecopa with the increased segregation and security of the newer stadium. All well and good, but it's an hour from Shimizu and ten minutes from Iwata. Not ideal. :(