Saturday, 31 March 2012

S-Pulse 1-0 Consadole Sapporo

Barry Barry writes

S-Pulse 1-0 Consadole Sapporo
Takagi 49

Att 14216

Line Up

GK Hayashi

DF Yoshida
DF Iwashita
DF Jong a Pin
DF Lee

MF Muramatsu
MF Ono

FW Kawai
FW Brosque
FW Takagi
FW Omae

Subs Used

Kobayashi on for Kawai (HT)
Franca (84) on for Ono (69)
Hiraoka on for Omae (86)

Report

It was wet, then cold, then windy and cold. I need to put my feet up with a beer. In a nutshell, Consadole were really hard to play against. The wind played a huge part and we came away from a potential banana skin with full points and a clean sheet.

Sapporo came to work hard and didn't let us play our game in the opening exchanges, but on today's evidence, they will struggle this year. If for other reason than the sheer number of missed passes (the wind notwithstanding), but they panic the moment they're under pressure, and were very easy to dispossess.

A result of the visitors' doggedness, the slippery conditions and the wind, it was a game of very few chances and pretty disjointed football. We brought on Kobayashi at half time to work beside Ono at sculpting out more opportunities and it had almost immediate effect. Daigo and Ono created the move which cut through Sapporo and gave Toshiyuki the chance to double his tally for the season. After a year of finding his range, this term looks like he's a lot more on target.

We couldn't find a second goal, and despite a late flurry of activity from Consadole, the game ended 1-0 to us. Not a great game, but we won and at this early stage of the season getting points on the board is what counts. Ono was taken off early again, and Takahara was rested. Taka isn't 100% yet so it's not worth rushing him back. Ono too doesn't need to be pushed into a full 90 minutes before he's ready, and we need to be able to play without him.

Well, next up, Niigata at home in the league cup on Wednesday. We've been told to expect some surprises, so maybe a début for the 2011 Asian Youth Player of the Year, Ishige? He just signed his first pro contract with us this last week, so no reason why not! Watch this space.


Pictures

It's a Shizuoka thing
  
Really decent turn out given the all day rain
Excellent following down from Hokkaido
  
:)


Videos

Highlights from NikoNiko. Click the little speech bubble at the bottom right of the video window to lose the scrolling comments.



Sunday, 25 March 2012

Leandro Domingues Spitting at Lee

Barry Barry writes

Not the best video of it yet, but clearly visible is Lee Ki-Je's shocked reaction at getting gratuitously gobbed on by Kashiwa's Leandro Domingues.



Blink and you miss it, so here you go.

Lee: "srsly m8, wtf?!"

He was a real nasty piece of work yesterday with non stop whining at officials and snidely little digs at our players. This is just the icing on the cake.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Nakamura Knees Opponent Hard in Bollocks - Yellow Card

Barry Barry writes

Things not going your way? Do like Nakamura does and knee your opponent hard in the bollocks.



Low, mate. Really low. :-/

And what does the ref do? Whip out the YELLOW card. Double disgrace.

Kashiwa 2-1 S-Pulse

Barry Barry writes

Kashiwa 2-1 S-Pulse
Masushima 81 --------------Iwashita 38
Masushima 86
 
Att.12209

Line Up

GK Hayashi (72)

DF Yoshida
DF Iwashita (51)
DF Jong a Pin
DF Lee

MF Muramatsu (19)
MF Ono
MF Kawai
MF Omae (81)
MF Takagi

FW Brosque (21)

Subs Used 

Franca on for Ono (58)
Kobayashi on for Takagi (74)
Takahara on for Omae (87)

Report

Picture the scene. The ball is rolling out for a goal kick. A yellow and white shirt both heading in that direction are slowing down to get ready to return back upfield. The two players maybe graze one another. Maybe their shirts brushed. The yellow shirt falls over. The referee blows his whistle and gives a free kick which leads to a goal and Kashiwa's first win of the season.

An ugly and questionable end to a game. Why would Iwashita foul a player in that situation? I don't believe he did. I was watching and there was no flicking out, no intentional tripping. Check out the video below at 1:27 to see it. Any contact was just two players running close to each other, yet the number 19 falls over, flailing his arms round like a windmill. 

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

Apart from that, our first half was very good. We controlled the opening exchanges and were the better team in the first half. Out back four seems pretty set, although suspensions will start enforcing changes. The ref was waving cards around like confetti all game, although bizarrely Domingues got away with 90 minutes of back chat and gesturing at the officials, not to mention spitting hard directly at Lee. The man was a disgrace and Kashiwa should be ashamed of him. Lee and Yoshida are both doing great at left and right back respectively. Both exciting players and both going to play huge parts in our season.

The second half was a totally different battle, and we struggled to maintain the pressure and control we showed in the first. Only after we went behind did we start creating chances again. Way too passive and Ono's substitution just before the hour contributed to Kashiwa's dominance and the equaliser was coming. The winner not so much but for the aforementioned free kick out of nothing.

Kawai is very talented and contributed a lot. Especially useful in getting the ball out wide for Genki to charge down the wing, but on occasion was effective in passing directly through to Brosque, who was up the top by himself until the hour when he dropped back and left Franca up front. Franca didn't get much chance to do anything given how the game was going so can't judge him much on today's game.

Absolutely gutting to have lost this one but there are plenty of positives to take from it. Much like Nagoya, it's not a game we should have come away pointless from.We played well, and took the game to the champions on their own turf. Unlucky to lose, and I have to remind myself that Kashiwa are technically the best team in the country. Against lesser opponents we'd have won today.


Videos

The goals.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Hayashi Getting Booted

Barry Barry writes

Check out this clip from the Nagoya game and Saturday's Hiroshima match. Twice in two games our keeper gets booted in the head. The first, Hayashi, who's already smothered the ball gets clattered by a trailing leg left in way too late. The forward should be trying avoid the keeper.

The second, Sanfrecce's Ozaki, clearly frustrated at his shutting out by Yoshida, drops his studs onto Akihiro's head in passing.


Hayashi Getting Kicked

If given the benefit of the doubt that they're weren't overtly malicious, both were still clearly dangerous and careless play. Neither resulted in cautions. Keepers are meant to get better protection than this.

We've just secured one of the best young keepers in the country, and I don't want to see him out with head injury because referees are too lax on clumsy, frustrated forwards swinging their studs around.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

S-Pulse 2-1 Hiroshima

Barry Barry writes

S-Pulse 2-1 Hiroshima 
Brosque 9 ----------------- Chiba 87
Takagi 51

Att. 13231

Line Up

GK Hayashi

DF Yoshida
DF Iwashita (63)
DF Jong a Pin (70)
DF Lee (83)

MF Muramatsu (40)
MF Ono
MF Kawai
MF Takagi

FW Brosque (62)
FW Omae

Subs Used

Takahara on for Ono (59)
Kobayashi on for Kawai (77)
Franca on for Takagi (86)

Report

Horrible weather. Really, really horrible weather. But the first 20 minutes went some way to warming us up. We started great and Hiroshima didn't get a sniff for a lot of the first half. It only took ten minutes for the possession and pressure to pay off. Brosque, running back onside from a previous attack was in the fortuitous position of being able to slot home a rebounded save from Takagi's effort.

We coped much better with the slippery conditions than the visitors, and with Ono's midfield marshalling and Omae's creativity we were the far more threatening.

We had the same back four as last week. Lee, Jong a Pin, Iwashita and Yoshida. Ota is not so far being missed. Lee tired as the game went on, but he's proving a good signing. As is Yoshida. He showed moments of real class in defence, and both him and Lee are very industrious in pressing up field. Iwashita was solid, and Jong a Pin was a very big presence. I'm liking him as centre back. Liking him a lot.

Shortly after the break, Takagi worked himself free and was on hand to steer home Genki's cross that neither the defenders nor Brosque connected with. Omae's stampeding run forward went undealt with by Sanfrecce, and his ball into the danger zone was picked up by Toshiyuki. It was far from an easy job to put it home, being closed down as he was by three defenders, but twinkle toes kept his nerve and doubled the lead from the edge of the area.

The last twenty minutes were mostly Hiroshima's as they pushed to try and get back in the game, but Kobayashi's introduction helped steady the ship. Despite that, and despite Hayashi at one point denying Sanfrecce with a stunning save to push the ball round for a corner, they found the net with 3 minutes to go. It set up a nervy end, but we closed out the game without Hiroshima going close to equalising.

A crucial result bouncing back from last week's not especially deserved defeat. Away to the champions next week will be a whole different test. That said, in Saitama yesterday Kashiwa were the victims of a giant killing losing to last season's 15th placed weaklings Urawa, so their confidence must have taken a harsh knock. It's as good a time to play them as any, and if we can keep it organised there's no reason we can't get a result. Looking forward to it!

Jymmy Franca comes on for the last few minutes

While I'm here, here's a link to all the J1 goals from yesterday in not especially high quality. Hey, it's free. :)

Videos

Brosque's opener (personal cam).



Takagi's goal in slow motion.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

S-Pulse Sign Jymmy França

Barry Barry writes

S-Pulse fans, time to dig out and dust off those Brazil flags! Announced today was expected signing of a forward to fill the last foreigner spot. It comes in the form of 27 year old Brazilian Jymmy Dougllas França. The 187cm tall striker has seen ten teams in ten years, but seems to score wherever he goes.



Anyone out there still remember Aurelio? Well, there's a few reasons to have more faith in this signing.

1, He's got a better record, including experience overseas.
2, He's been training with the team already.
3, Ghotbi decided to sign him on that evidence.
4, He's not shorter than me.

So will he make his début on Saturday? I see no reason why he won't be on the bench at least, but we'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, you can check out his Facebook page here. He's a big bloke, that's for sure.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Nagoya 1-0 S-Pulse

Barry Barry writes

Nagoya 1-0 S-Pulse
Kennedy 32 (pen)

Att. 24316

Line Up 

GK Hayashi

DF Yoshida
DF Iwashita
DF Jong a Pin
DF Lee

MF Muramatsu
MF Edamura
MF Kawai (4)
MF Takagi

FW Brosque (60)
FW Omae

Subs Used

Ono (63) on for Edamura (HT)
Shirasaki on for Takagi (73)

Report

A belting stadium, way too many beers, awesome travelling support, friends, football and fun. A defeat, but a lot to take from the performance. All in all, it was just great to have the football back. It's a long, cold winter in Japan with no football to look forward to on the weekends. Welcome back J. League. :)

We had four first time starters (Hayashi, Yoshida, Lee, Kawai) on Saturday, and a fifth came off the bench in the shape of Shirasaki. A very new look S-Pulse, but a very encouraging performance. Lee in particular had only officially been announced last week, but for all the new faces we didn't look like a team lacking cohesion. But for a momentary lack of good judgement from an otherwise solid Yoshida, the game would have ended 0-0.

Nagoya's big two centre backs caused us all kinds of problems and were probably the difference in the end. We created several chances down the wings through twinkle toes Takagi especially, but were frustrated by Tulio and Masukawa time and again. I thought we looked better in the second half and controlled most of the game, no coincidence Ono had come on at half time.

As for the other new signings, Yoshida was exciting, and Hayashi in goal seems a class acquisition. Experienced beyond his years, he had a great début. The back line was organised and did a good job of containing Nagoya for the most part. We have a lot we can take from this, despite the defeat. This season is going to be an interesting one, but compared to last year's schooling at the hands of the eventual champions, I feel like it's going to be a much brighter ten months ahead!

   
Absolute CORKER of a stadium

 
Grampus Kun :)

 Hayashi in goal - one of several débutantes


Videos

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

2012 New Intake Rollcall

Barry Barry writes

Not long now! With the big kick off only days away, it's about time I formally introduce our new intake for this season. So without further ado.

GK Akihiro Hayashi

Had been playing in Belgium and had spent time at Plymouth Argyle. The 24 year old has represented Japan at U19, U20 and U22. Could prove a very canny acquisition.

DF Yutaka Yoshida

Local lad Yoshida signed from Kofu. He's represented Japan at nearly every age group, including the U23  team currently aiming for the London Olympics. Can play either left or right back. A very big signing to fill the gap left by the departed Wank Chops. Very much looking forward to seeing him.

DF Tomoya Inukai

18 year old Shizuoka boy Inukai has worked his way through the junior youth and youth ranks. Good from set pieces.


DF Kang Song Ho

Japanese born North Korean Kang has been playing for Oita since graduating from Korea University in Tokyo. The 6 foot defensive midfielder has represented North Korea at U20 level.

MF Kohei Hattanda

Has been called up to Japan U17 and was also a member of the all Japan University selection while studying in Kagoshima.

MF Yosuke Kawai

Signed from university where Kawai had been called up for the all Japan University selection. The 22 year old midfielder has also been called up for Japan U18 and U20.

FW Ryohei Shirasaki

Fresh from high school, Shirasaki is a Japan U18, U19 and all Japan High School team member. The highly rated forward was hotly pursued by FC Tokyo who he has been attached to as a youth. He chose S-Pulse in August last year and is an exciting prospect for this season.

FW Satoru Kashiwase

Former Japan U17 and U18 representative, Satoru has been promoted from within the youth system.

We have a foreigner spot and whole pile of cash to spare since Youngberry decided he wasn't really into it, so there may well still be some signing action still to come in the not too distant future...

Four days to go!