Archive for May 2010

vs. Tokushima (youtube)   Leave a comment

The goal from yesterday’s game.

It turns out Avispa didn’t score twice before the referee gave it, rather it was saved and cleared by someone else, both behind the line.

Posted May 29, 2010 by avispafukuoka in Match highlights

vs. Tokushima Vortis (Events and Ratings)   Leave a comment

Key events:

4 minutes : Nakajima hits the far post after a powerful free-kick. Possibly a good save by the keeper.

22: GOAL. Corner from Kudo. Nakamachi scores with a header but the goal isn’t immediately given after being cleared from behind the line. Referee eventually gives the goal after Avispa seem to score again.

44: Avispa lucky to keep the lead after good cross is headed just wide.

48: Yamagata hits both posts with a shot from the edge of the area. The rebound is just missed by Okamoto.

54: Penalty is given after Tanaka is judged to have pulled back the striker running into the middle of the box. Kamiyama makes a good save after diving the correct way.

Player Ratings

Kamiyama – 8. Little to do for much of the game, but made the very important penalty save.

Yamagata – 7. Defended well and got forward when he needed to. deserves to stay in first team ahead of Miyaji.

Nakajima – 7. Hit the post early with a good free-kick. Gave a chance in attack after trying his trick for winning a free-kick and not being given it.

Daiki – 9. Totally solid in defence and useful in attack. My Man of the Match.

Tanaka – 8. Totally solid at the back again. Had one good chance with a header at a corner. Unlucky to give away penalty.

Kudo – 7. Very good delivery at corners. Gets tired towards end of games.

Sueyoshi – 8. At times he controlled midfield and let the more attacking players be a big threat for most of the first half.

Nakamachi – 9. Scored the important goal again. Starting to be able to hold and control midfield at a higher level on the pitch. Avispa need to worry he might be scouted by a bigger club.

Nagasato – 7. Seemed to get injured a few times but carried on.Had one very good chance which he crossed when in a better position to shoot.

Okubo – 7. A better performance, and did some nice passes and one very good interception. Still needs to show more running.

Okamoto – 7. Worked hard in attack, but never really looked like scoring.


Miyaji – 6. Playing at left-back he took a while to get organised, but did get better.

Suzuki – 8. Played well when hecame on and retained the ball well. Good creativity and hit a free-kick on target.

Oyama – 7. Only played for a short time but I like this guy. He runs a lot and helps the midfield by hurrying the opposition. Hideya and Oyama would make defences run.

Posted May 29, 2010 by avispafukuoka in Match Reports

vs. Tokushima Vortis (full report)   Leave a comment

Through a combination of Tokushima playing better this season than may have been expected, and Avispa dropping points during April, The two teams played each other today equal on league points with Avispa only ahead through goal difference.

Coming after the game against Giravanz Kitakyushu where Fukuoka had won all 3 points, but done so in fortuitous style, I was hoping there might be a change for this game; especially up front. The manager didn’t agree with me and the team lined up with the same team as last week, Okubo as a target man with Okamoto keeping his place as support striker.

Expecting the worst I was pleasantly surprised by Avispa starting the game at a fast pace, and within 3-4 minutes winning a free-kick after a push about 5m outside the area. Predictably Nakajima lined up to take it, but less predictably he hit it really well, firing a power shot straight at the far post where it hit the post. If the Tokushima keeper did get his fingertips to it, it was a very good save.

Encouraged by this early effort and success of their work rate Avispa started the best 20 minutes I have seen them play this season, passing the ball around within the Tokushima half and not giving the opposition the chance to get hold of the ball. One of the key players within this was Sueyoshi who has developed as the season has gone one, and when playing well within his defensive midfielder role allows the other players to pay at a more advanced level.

After 22 minutes there was a corner from the left which Kudo flighted in well to be met by Nakamachi in the middle. Continuing his goal-scoring run he headed it down, with the goal-keeper only reaching it after it had passed the goal-line. The goal wasn’t immediately given, and Avispa seemed to score again only for it to be cleared from behind the line again with the referee giving the goal.

Avispa continued to stay in control until the end of the half, but were lucky to stay ahead after a counter attack just before half-time was headed just wide of the post after a right wing cross which wouldhave given Kamiyama no chance.

Coming out after half-time Avispa seemed to again have a fast pace at the start and created a chance on the edge of the box where Yamagata hit a good shot low to the left corner of the goal. With the keeper beaten it clipped the inside of the post and rolled all the way along the goal line to hit the other post and bounce out. Just missing Hideya running in it was cleared by a Vortis defender and the chance was gone.

Perhaps energised by their luck Tokushima started to come into the game and started to hold the ball better and make some chances. they were helped in this by Nakajima going off injured and Miyaji taking a few minutes to get used to playing at left-back in his absence.
On one of their attacks the referee decided to award a penalty against the otherwise excellent Tanaka who had been judged to pull back on the striker as he ran into the box.

After hitting both posts it had seemed inevitable that Tokushima would come back into the game, but through a very weak penalty decision it didn’t seem fair. Running up to strike past the imposing figure of Kamiyama in goal the Vortis striker hit hard to the left of Kamiyama. It was a good height for a keeper, but hit very hard, and Kamiyama pulled off an excellent save with his left arm to maintain the lead.

Tokushima continued to make a few chances, but Avispa held the ball with confidence to limit their attacking threat. At the back Tanaka and Daiki were immense and kept stopping attack after attack before a shot on goal to be made.

Late on in the game Oyama was brought on for Okamoto and again impressed me with his running and was part of a couple of very nice moves. More importantly his closing down limited the space of the defence to launch attacks and Avispa were able to hold out for the important win.

Half-time entertainment

A marching band with some cheerleaders waving flags around a bit. It looked quite good, but they played for the expensive seats rather than the far side of the pitch where the majority of fans sit.

Posted May 29, 2010 by avispafukuoka in Match Reports

vs. Giravanz (youtube)   Leave a comment

I forgot to update with the video from Kitakyushu.

As you can see the weather was terrible that weekend, and this goal was in literally the last minute of the game.

It wasn’t a good performance, and I hope that despite the win the manager noticed things to change for the game against Tokushima today.

Jun assist for OG.

Posted May 29, 2010 by avispafukuoka in Match highlights

vs Giravanz (Events and ratings)   Leave a comment

Key events:

13 minutes – Okamoto tried to pass the ball into goal after getting a lucky ricochet in the box.

45 + 1 – Long shot by Giravanz #8 flew across goal and just missed far post.

58 – Genki had shot saved by keeper with no strikers in the box to knock home an easy rebound.

72 – Missed tackle by Giravanz defender. Nakamacho fed Takahashi who had a good shot saved for a corner.

83 – Nearly an own goal as Giravanz defender headed straight back to his goalkeeper, by luck rather than design.

90 + 1 – GOAL. Cross by Suzuki into the box hits the first defender. Jumping to reach the ball it skimmed off the top of his head and ballooned into the far corner of the goal.

Player ratings

Kamiyama – 7. Apart from 1 mis-kick he made no mistakes and came off his line.

Yamagata – 7. Miyaji would be disappointed to go to the bench, but Yamagata played well and brings more in attack.

Nakajima – 7. Solid in defence, attracts foul cleverly when being chased by strikers.

Daiki – 8. Solid. Throws himself at headers from set pieces in a way I wish Okubo would.

Tanaka – 7. Did his job with little fuss.

Kudo – 7. Better in attack than previous weeks. Made the first chance for Okamoto with his head.

Nagasato – 7. Avispa’s biggest attacking threat still, but didn’t like the rain much and lost heart towards the end.

Nakamachi – 8. Man of the Match. Midfield actually held the ball in this game and he was always offering an option in attack.

Sueyoshi – 7. A better defensive midfield performance. Sat in front of the defence and made some important tackles.

Okubo – 4. His one key skill is his height. He needs to run more, and throw himself at everything crossed into the area. Terrible passing.

Okamoto – 6. Got into some positions but was missing a strong finish on 2 or 3 occasions.


Takahashi – 7. On for Okamoto. Showed willingness to run and had a good shot at goal.

Suzuki – 6. On for Kudo. Put the cross in for the lucky goal, but did little else.

Miyaji – 6. On for Yamagata. Only on for a couple of minutes.

Posted May 22, 2010 by avispafukuoka in Match Reports

vs. Giravanz Kitakyushu (Full report)   Leave a comment

After 2 wins and a good away draw in their last 3 games Avispa would have traveled to Kitakyushu optimistic about getting all 3 points in their first ever J-League game against Giravanz.

I didn’t go to the game, but found out that one of the cable TV channels was showing the game, so could watch Avispa on TV for the first time.

There was only 1 change to the team from the previous week with Yamagata coming into the team at right-back with Miyaji dropping down to the bench.

Giravanz started the game with a good chance as Brazilian midfielder Wellington made some space on the right to cross into the box, but after that the first half was dominated by Avispa.
Genki fired a long range warning shot at goal in the 8th minute, before the first clear chance of the game fell to Okamoto having bounced down to him from a tussle in the middle of the penalty area. I don’t know if he thought he was offside but he seemed to very casually try to pass it into goal rather than shoot with full power and the keeper could make an easy save.

Avispa continued to hold the ball, but failed to turn their possession into chances as the final ball was either of low quality or resulted in an offside. It was nice to see an offside decision as it indicated that the midfield were trying to pass balls to the strikers rather than just kick it from defence, but having not played like this much previously they need practice to get their communication working.

Having held the ball for much of the half they were almost caught by a sucker punch right on half time as Wellington took a couple of players out of the game before spreading the ball to the left wing where #8 hit a good shot across goal which just missed the far post with Kamiyama beaten.

The second half continued in much the same way with Avispa having more possession, but failing to make really clear chances. A large part of this was that they were effectively playing with 10 men as Okubo was spending most of the game standing in the middle of the pitch waiting for the ball to land on his head.
The only good thing about his performance today was that it was so bad that the manager must have seen he needs to think of something new in attack. He has terrible touch, and his passes were so far out that at one point he nearly set up a goal for Giravanz by over-hitting the ball back into the Avispa box. With a fussy referee he gave away needless fouls at free kicks, and didn’t seem to be doing everything he could to get his head on the ball when it was crossed into the box.
At one point Kamiyama landed on him (one person I wouldn’t want falling on me) and it looked like Avispa might be forced into something new in attack, but he stayed on the pitch.

With 5 minutes left to play I gave up on the game as the more creative Avispa players seemed to have given up, and in pouring rain Giravanz were limited to long range shots (not a bad idea with the inclement weather), but then out of almost nothing Avispa scored the winning goal 1 minute into injury time.

Winning a free-kick on the right side of midfield the players grouped together on the edge of the penalty area awaiting substitute Suzuki Jun to cross into the box (presumably for Okubo to head over the bar). His initial delivery was blocked and returned back out to him on the right wing where he could come a little closer and try to flight in another cross. Making a slightly better cross at the 2nd attempt he still couldn’t totally clear the first defender, but for the second game in a row the ball ballooned up off the first man and fell favourably for Avispa.
Whereas against Yokohama it landed around the penalty spot for Daiki to challenge the keeper, this time it ballooned totally over the goalkeeper and landed in the corner of the goal; a horrible own goal which Avispa probably didn’t deserve. The Fukuoka players looked as surprised as I was that they had taken a lead, but after looking around briefly to see if the goal was allowed ran to celebrate with Jun who is unlikely to be credited with the goal.

While being very happy with 3 away points I hope that the poor performance was also noticed, with Okubo in particular needing to start playing for his place in the important game against Tokushima next week.

Posted May 22, 2010 by avispafukuoka in Match Reports

vs. Yokohama (youtube)   Leave a comment

The first video here shows highlights from the whole game, including the Yokohama goal, but is quite small.

Below it are better quality versions of the Avispa goals.

Full highlights.

Tanaka’s equaliser.

Genki’s winner.

Posted May 16, 2010 by avispafukuoka in Match highlights

vs. Yokohama (Key events and ratings)   Leave a comment

See earlier post for full match report.

Key events.
10 Minutes : Referee is conned into a free-kick after Genki uses his strength to push onto the ball. Crossed into the middle where Ogura headed home from about 2m out with no challenge from defenders or goalkeeper. 0-1.

26 minutes : Daiki hits the bar after a corner is spread back out to the wing after confusion in the box.

50 minutes : Penalty appeal turned down after Okubo is elbowed in the head by Yokohama #20.

61 minutes : Weak appeal for a penalty by Avispa turned down.

75 minutes : Poor free-kick from Sueyoshi hits wall and balloons up into the penalty box. Daiki challenges the keeper and 2 defenders with the ball hitting the bar and rebounding to Tanaka. Tanaka calmly heads ball into unguarded net from tight angle. 1 – 1.

83 minutes : Pressure from Takahashi leads to a throw-in which is allowed to bounce in the box. Bounces over #20 and is slipped under the keeper by Genki. 2 – 1.


Kamiyama – 6. Refused to come off his line in the first half. Did better in the second, including one good diving save, but needs work on crossing.

Nakajima – 8. Still being used as an option in attack, and can do this while still defending. A lot of the crowd seem to think he isn’t trying, i think he is one of the only ones who does sometimes.

Miyaji – 7. Struggled with winger in first half, but mostly solid and came forward when a goal was needed.

Daiki – 9. Made some really important blocks in defence, and hit the bar twice, leading to the first goal.

Tanaka – 9. Solid at the back, and very composed to take his goal. Won some rice as Official Man of the Match.

Kudo – 7. Did better defensively than he did in attack. Still not much coming from the right.

Sueyasu – 6. Seems to be the more defensive minded midfielder, but needs to be providing more of a defensive shield if he is.

Nakamachi – 8. Gets forward to support the strikers, and is sometimes the only player in the box. Good willingness to shoot.

Genki – 10. My Man of the Match. A threat throughout the match. Is able to beat his defender, and did it over and over again in the second half. Drifts into the middle, and scored the vital goal.

Okubo – 6. Started running a bit when Avispa were totally on top, but still doesn’t hold the ball up well enough for someone his size when that seems to be his only job.

Okamoto – 6. Less effective than last week. Tries hard, and was even coming back to help in defence when the midfield should have been.


Suzuki – 7. On for Kudo. Showed some good touch, but needs to be more dynamic to be in the first team.

Takahashi – 8. On for Okamoto. Showed real energy and hassled the defenders throughout to help fuel the fight back.

Yamaguchi – 7. On for Miyaji. Didn’t make any mistakes in few minutes on pitch.

Posted May 16, 2010 by avispafukuoka in Match Reports

vs. Yokohama FC (full report)   Leave a comment

On one of the hottest days of the year so far Avispa welcomed a Yokohama side carrying National Team legend Kazuyoshi Miura (not playing today)and a run of bad form which would make even Avispa fans worried.

Before the game even started Avispa looked like a team who had overcome their run of 4 defeats earlier in the season, and looked ready to push for an early goal. Choosing to kick-off they worked a training ground routine with Okubo playing down the right wing to try to collect a ball into the corner. This worked quite well, with a half chance created and missed, but also seemed to wake up Yokohama who also started at a high tempo.

The referee seemed to be keen to blow for any tackle around the box, resulting in one for Avispa which Okubo inevitably headed for a goal kick, and a couple for Yokohama from each side of the pitch. The second of these being headed in by the Yokohama #9 to take the lead. I don’t know if the Avispa team weren’t ready, or if it was just terrible marking, but despite being top scorer in the division he was totally unmarked, with Kamiyama not even challenging for the ball despite it being about 2m in front of him. It was particularly annoying to concede to this as it had been a very soft foul by Genki.

Avispa tried to answer the goal immediately, with Genki going on the attack and creating a chance for Nakamachi to strike from a central position in the middle of the penalty area. He struck it well, but the Yokohama keeper pulled off a very good diving save to prevent the equaliser.

As in previous games Avispa seemed to be concentrating solely on the left wing to create attacks, with the central midfield area being won comfortably by Yokohama. After a neat piece of skill by the Yokohama #18 a free-kick was rightly awarded in the same area of the pitch as that which had resulted in a goal, and after the ease at which Yokohama had scored he first it seemed inevitable Fukuoka would be 2-0 down. Fortunately Daiki was around to make a last ditch clearance about 1m from the goal with Kamiyama still rooted to his goal-line.

The game was still very open and an Avispa corner was spread back out wide after an initial clearance with the subsequent cross being headed onto the bar from a difficult angle by Daiki.

With about 15 minutes of the game still to play Yokohama seemed to realise they were in the lead and closed the game down a bit. Still controlling the midfield their #9 was starting to show why he is division top scorer with some good movement to always be between the central defenders and available for a through ball from Yokohama’s tricky midfield.
During this passage of play the Avispa midfield was providing very little assistance to the defence, while striker Okamoto managed to find himself tackling back in the left-back position to try to get the ball back, to then find there were no options in attack.

The half-time break couldn’t come soon enough, and when the team emerged early they seemed to have been revitalised and playing much better.
Genki was playing like a man possessed, which was a very nice change from previous games where he had gone missing when the team was behind, and started making chance after chance. From one of his runs on the left a free kick was awarded which was duly aimed right at Okubo’s head, only for the Yokohama #20 to clearly elbow him in the head. Missed by the referee it could have easily resulted in a penalty and red card.

Yokohama were starting to put 9 or 10 behind the ball, and Takahashi was brought on for Okamoto for some fresh energy to try to force a goal. The penalty shout had just seemed to make Genki more attacking and he kept beating defenders, creating chances and winning free-kicks. One of these free-kicks was hit straight at the defensive wall by Sueyasu but ballooned up into the penalty area where Daiki got into a bundle with the goal-keeper and a couple of defenders with the ball boucing out onto the bar. Coming back out to Tanaka he kept his composure to send the ball back into the unguarded net and equalise for Fukuoka in the 72nd minute.

Having scored one it seemed likely that a buoyant Avispa team attacking like this would be the more likely to get a winner, with Takahashi playing like a man competing for his first team place and pressuring the defence at all opportunities.
A mistake in the Yokohama defence allowed Takahashi through on a 3 on 2, having been out of the team he was probably entitled to take a shot but would probably have been better advised to cross into the middle as his shot was blocked for a throw-in.

The resulting throw-in was sent right into the box with Avispa pushing a lot of men forward to attack and was allowed to bounce in the area by Yokohama. Bouncing straight over the #20 who was lucky to still be on the pitch, Genki slipped in front of a defender to slide the ball under the goal-keeper. The Avispa fans went wild, and #20 seemed to be visibly riled by the jubilation being shown by the home crowd.

With 5 minutes left to play the home crowd started to celebrate the win, to the further annoyance of #20 and #14 for Yokohama, but may have been doing so too early as Kamiyama was called upon to make a good diving near post save, and then seemed to have been told to come off his line for a couple of corners which wasn’t totally convincing punches clear, but better than staying on his line.

Avispa Fukuoka 2 : 1 Yokohama FC

Half time entertainment
Some people from a local TV News station came and announced the results of Avispa Fukuoka’s best looking player. Results: 3rd – the 3rd choice goal-keeper. 2nd – Miyaji. 1st – Nakamachi.

Posted May 16, 2010 by avispafukuoka in Match Reports

Avispa Fukuoka fan-page   Leave a comment

Having written the frame-work for this fan-site after struggling to find an English language site about Avispa I’ve now found a really good site which was exactly what I was looking for!

It has much more information about Avispa Fukuoka (I’ve used it to find out why the guy in front of me wears a Chiyotanda shirt), and an alternative view to the matches and club.

Posted May 15, 2010 by avispafukuoka in News