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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...

Monday, 31 March 2014

S-Pulse 1-3 FC Tokyo

Barry BARRY WRITES... 

S-Pulse 1-3 FC Tokyo
Nagasawa 5 --------------- Kawano 44
--------------------------------- Morishige 57
--------------------------------- Yonemoto 82

Att 14420
3pm, Nihondaira Stadium
Shizuoka city, Shizuoka prefecture

Line Up

GK Kushibiki

DF Yoshida
DF Hiraoka
DF Jonga-a-Pin
DF Kawai

MF Takeuchi (56)
MF Musaka
MF Omae
MF Takagi T

FW Nagasawa
FW Novakovic

Subs Used

Takagi Y on for Takeuchi (64)
Lee Kiji (71) on for Takagi T (70)
Ishige on for Yoshida (81)

Report 

Here are the highlights:


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Urawa Red Diamonds 1-1 S-Pulse

Barry BARRY WRITES... 

Urawa 1-1 S-Pulse 
Haraguchi 75 --------- Nagasawa 19

Att 0
3pm, Saitama Stadium
Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture

Line Up 

GK Kushibiki

DF Ishige
DF Hiraoka
DF Jong-a-Pin
DF Yoshida

MF Kawai
MF Musaka
MF Takeuchi

FW Omae (69)
FW Novakovic
FW Nagasawa

Subs Used

Sugiyama on for Takeuchi (65)
Honda on for Ishige (70)
Takagi T on for Nagasawa (86)

Report

For all the wrong reasons of course, but this weekend saw a first for S-Pulse: our game was reported on by the BBC.

At 1-0 up Yoshida had a wonderful chance to double our lead, and it came from a lovely bit of build up. Alas it wasn't to be. I was otherwise engaged and didn't see the game, so apart from that, I'll let the highlights speak for themselves. On the face of it not a bad away draw against a team meant to be challenging for the title come December.

This Saturday we welcome FC Tokyo to town, kick off 3pm. They lost 4-0 at home today and are yet to pick up a win this year.

Highlights

Here you go.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

S-Pulse 4-0 Vegalta Sendai (Nab Cup Group Stage)

Barry BARRY WRITES... 

S-Pulse 4-0 Vegalta Sendai
Nagasawa 21
Omae 32
Novakovic 68, 74

Att 5291
7pm, Nihondaira Stadium
Shizuoka city, Shizuoka prefecture

Line Up

GK Kushibiki

DF Yoshida
DF Hiraoka
DF Kawai

MF Musaka
MF Jong-a-Pin
MF Takeuchi
MF Takaki

FW Omae
FW Takagi Y.
FW Nagasawa

Subs used

Novakovic on for Takaki (61)
Kaneko on for Omae (73)
Lee Ki-Je on for Kawai (79)

Report

Tonight was just what we needed. The 4-0 scoreline tells some of the story, but not all of it. Big news aside from the four goals and clean sheet included a first J. League goal for Nagasawa (he got one in the Emperor's Cup a while back, however), successful debuts for both Takagi Y and Kaneko, and a return to action for left back Lee Ki-Je.

Nagasawa's header, albeit a totally free one, was taken perfectly. He was achingly unlucky not add a second when he crashed a shot against the bar in the second half. With only the keeper to beat, a little more composure would have seen him put in the bottom corner. He's certainly accomplished with his head, but seemed a little hesitant when he had the ball at his feet. That touch will come with time, though. He had a decent game, and his unselfishness saw him lay it off for Novakovic's second and our 4th.

Yoshiaki Takagi had a good debut, covering a lot of ground and himself hitting the woodwork at one stage. Kaneko came on for the final 15 minutes and put himself about. Happy to have a go, he sprayed a couple of shots at the Sendai goal, making his presence felt.

At 2-0 Sendai pushed incessantly up the pitch to try and get back into the game leaving them exposed on the counter time and again. Aside from twice hitting the post we might have had a couple more. We put in a good attacking performance and looked dangerous. The win puts us top of our group on goal difference. Our next Nabisco Cup game is April 2nd, when we welcome Kenta Hasegawa back to Nihondaira. He returns with his Gamba Osaka side which should prove a tasty face off.

Quick mention for Hiraoka, who often goes unsung as an indispensable part of our back four. He's grown immensely over the last few years and was his usual solid self tonight. He would definitely be missed.

Videos

Highlights.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Cerezo vs Shimizu - Aisha's perspective

FuzFuz writes:

I don't get to many games these days. Its not for lack of interest, but living in Osaka means I don't have the pleasure of watching S-Pulse very often. Add to that a full time job, a cheeky four year old and a university course in my free (haha) time, and its just another thing I wish I could do more often. Last year when we played Cerezo I was bullied by a then three year old into going to Disneyland instead.


Anyways, it was a year and a half since my last game and I almost wish it still was, after yesterday. We didn't just lose, 4-1 is a proper drubbing.  Based on that, I decided after consulting with Barry to report the game from the four year old's perspective, because she had a great time and has been singing S-Pulse songs non-stop ever since.

From the moment I told her where we were going for the day, it was all about Pal-chan. She ran to get the ears, and would have taken her stuffed Pal and Pikal if I had let her. Despite Cerezo's Robbie sympathizing with the S-Pulse support as we cannot attend next weeks match at Urawa, he did not cut the mustard with Aisha. Nor did his female counterpart as she rode around on her bicycle. "But where's Pal-chan, Mummy? I want to see him!"

It was almost her first game ever, and to be honest, I expected her to be bored silly and distract me from the game. But NO! She asked good questions, and started to understand, even yelling out a "YES!!!" followed by a disappointed "oh, no" as the Cerezo keeper punched away what had looked like a promising on-target attempt.  She got angry with events leading up to our penalty -" that pink man is MEAN." and yelled "go go go" when we were on the attack. 

She wasn't impressed that we didn't win. But apparently we will the next time, and she is definitely interested in going to more games. I plan to get her to Nihondaira as soon as possible - shame there isn't a derby to go to this year. In the meantime, orange has replaced pink as her favourite colour, and that is no mean feat.

To sum it up : "I like S-Pulse Mummy. Shimizu is the best!"

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Cerezo Osaka 4-1 S-Pulse

Barry BARRY WRITES...  

Cerezo Osaka 4-1 S-Pulse
Maruhashi 15 ------------------------------ Omae 23 (pen)
Yamashita 32
Kacar 87
Sugimoto 94

Att 20323
3pm, Nagai Stadium
Osaka city, Osaka prefecture

Line Up

GK Aizawa

DF Ishige
DF Hiraoka
DF Jakovic
DF Jonga-a-Pin

MF Kawai
MF Murata
MF Takeuchi

FW Takagi T.
FW Omae
FW Novakovic

Subs used

Murata on for Takagi T. (58)
Nagasawa on for Takeuchi (75)
Musaka on for Muramatsu (85)

Report

Do we ever win away at Cerezo? Report to come as and when.

Videos

Highlights


Thursday, 13 March 2014

Urawa v S-Pulse: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

Barry BARRY WRITES...  

After the "JAPANESE ONLY" banner which was hung, and left up for the whole game, at an entrance to Saitama Stadium's home end last weekend, we're set in for a new first for the J. League: a game to be played in an empty stadium. 


The J. League, with speed that can only be applauded, moved more swiftly than anyone dared hope and punished Urawa for their failure once again to control their fans. The incident is the latest in a tiresome list of miserable, mean spirited behaviour by a small number of the Saitama team's fanbase.

After the banner went viral, all manner of explanations were touted as to its meaning. Seriously, though? Something like that, written in English, is fairly unambiguous. Let's be honest, it was nothing other than a hopeful attempt at apartheid in Saitama. Urawa most likely have the biggest number of foreign faces in any given J. League crowd, which makes it all the more daft. Since when did racist nut jobs have a coherent grasp of reality, though?

So long story short, our game in Saitama on March 23rd will be played inside an empty ground. All tickets will be refunded, along with travel/accommodation arrangements already made by fans. Urawa are being forced to foot this bill, and rightly so. It's not yet decided if fans will be allowed to congregate outside the ground, but, if you ask me, that would be asking for trouble. Given the desperate posturing of some Reds fans recently (fireworks set off at our team bus? seriously?) the police would have to be out in force to make sure that element didn't run riot, and I can't see anyone going for that.

This is a pretty huge deal for the J. League, and I'm glad the judgement came strongly and quickly, but the fact hundreds of Shimizu die hards will be missing a game is massively disappointing. Perhaps the logistics of allowing only away fans in was too much to organise, but there's a deep feeling of injustice among many of my Shimizu brothers and sisters. Not to mention of course the thirty-odd thousand blameless home supporters, but after years of, albeit a minority's, misbehavior, a line finally had to be drawn. I think the punishment is firm, fair and sends a loud and clear message.

The reverberations of this incident will continue to be felt. Urawa announced an overhaul of the way their supporters will be handled, and how they'll have to conduct and organise themselves. Not a moment too soon, either. As the best supported team in the country, for years they've been a consistent embarrassment to themselves. Most of them are totally fine of course, but those are the same people who let the offending flag hang over that entrance for the entire game. That is poor form. 

That's my two cents, anyway. Maybe my favourite quote of the day came early from Dan Orlowitz: S-Pulse fans were locked in last year, locked out this. :-/

Shimizu S-Pulse 0-1 Yokohama F. Marinos

Barry BARRY WRITES...  

S-Pulse 0-1 Yokohama F. Marinos
---------------------------------- Saito 13

Att 17877
3pm, IAI Stadium Nihondaira
Shizuoka city, Shizuoka prefecture

Line Up

GK Kushibiki

DF Yoshida
DF Hiraoka
DF Sugiyama (23, 77)
DF Jong-a-Pin

MF Jakovic
MF Muramatsu
MF Omae

FW Takagi T.
FW Novakovic
FW Nagasawa

Subs used

Kawai on for Yoshida (57)
Murata on for Takagi T. (57)
Honda on for Nagasawa (81)

Report

Blog when we're winning, I only blog when we're winning!

Seriously though, apologies for the lack of update after Saturday's home opener. It was a tough game to watch, so I've been putting off writing about it. After the win away at Nagoya last week, expectations were high for a shot at revenge over Marinos. They'd beaten us home and away last year, the home an especially riotous 5-0 mauling. Away was by the one goal, and so it was on Saturday.

An early goal after a defensive error and after that we just never looked in it. The visitors could have extended their lead, but we rarely threatened. When Sugiyama walked after 77 minutes that was pretty much game over, although we did manage to create three very real goal scoring chances in the final five minutes. One of Omae's shots fooled half the stadium (including the scoreboard operator), but alas it had grazed the wrong side of the post.

It was all too little too late, and Yokohama F. saw the game out to continue their good form over us. Hey, ho. We're only two games into the season, and we're two points better off than this time last year, so bring it on! Away to Cerezo 3pm this Saturday, then away again to Urawa Racist Diamonds* in what will be a first for the J. League: a game behind closed doors.


* The vast majority of Urawa's fans are not in the slightest racist.

Videos

Highlights.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Nagoya Grampus 2-3 S-Pulse

Barry BARRY WRITES...  

Nagoya 2-3 S-Pulse
Kennedy 20 --------------- Takagi (T)
Tulio 36 --------------------- Hiraoka 73
--------------------------------- Novaković 80

Att 21657
Toyota Stadium
Toyota City, Aichi prefecture

Line Up

GK Kushibiki

DF Yoshida
DF Hiraoka
DF Jong-a-Pin
DF Kawai

MF Sugiyama
MF Takeuchi
MF Omae
MF Takagi T.

FW Novaković
FW Nagasawa

Subs Used

Honda on for Takeuchi (55)
Murata on for Takagi T. (69)
Jakovic on for Sugiyama (89) 

Report

After today's fantastic performance to come from behind S-Pulse fans were not allowed to celebrate with their traditional kachiloko or ganya. Why? Because the club have banned us from singing unless the team is on the pitch. Banned. From singing. We're not allowed to dance kachiloko, or revel in any of our victories unless the players happen to be around to hear it.

The reasoning goes, and last year's derby has predictably been (mis)used as justification, that to enjoy our victory dance (as we have for years, obviously with no incident) can be seen as provocation. Of who? The other fans, apparently. Bare in mind this is Japan, one of the world's most placid (not to say unpassionate, which it very much is) supporter cultures in the world, and you have a severe case of over thinking things.

Will we still be allowed to sing Oja no Hata? Of course we will. But wait, the players are never around for that, so won't the away fans be provoked by this brazen display of joy? Seriously, is it even necessary to find holes in this nonsense? Here's hoping sense prevails and the rule is dropped as soon as possible.

Well, what a shame I had to start the season with a whinge. Especially since on the pitch S-Pulse did the business beautifully. Today was a wonderful come back against Nagoya who, under their new gaffer Nishino, were a tough side to break down. Both sides were wobbly at times, which is to be expected so early on in the season, but three goals sets us up well for the coming weeks. 

It was hard to argue with the scoreline at half time, as Grampus made, and took, their chances, but the same hesitancy witch cost us for Tulio's well taken but frustrating-to-
give-away goal afflicted the home team. Flatfooted defending allowed Hiraoka to steal in and nod home from a corner to level the score heading into the last quarter. Not long after, a copy of Kennedy's first half strike came from Novaković to give us the lead, and we didn't surrender it. The big man took his strike brilliantly. 

This marks our first opening day victory since 2007, and at times we looked pretty good. Next week we welcome Yokohama F. Marinos to town for our first home game. We lost 5-0 last season, but I cannot see a repeat this year. Roll on Saturday!

S-PULSE!

Videos

Highlights.