I had a nervous Sunday night watching the j-league.co.jp site updating their website as the game wasn’t being shown on TV again, and I wasn’t going to go all the way to Toyama on a Sunday night.
My mood wasn’t improved when I saw that Toyama had scored the first goal of the night after just 2 minutes. Coming after an early cross into the box from Nakamachi, and shot in the middle by Jogo, it seems like Avispa were just caught cold and fell behind to Toayama’s first attack.
There have been a few games this season where Avispa have fallen behind and come back so I was still hopeful of a result, but as the game went deeper into the 2nd half it looked like it might be another really disappointing defeat.
After 56 minutes Shinoda brought on Jumbo in search of a goal. I have been one of Jumbo’s biggest critics, but actually quite like him in this role. If the team need a goal then bringing him on late in a game will give the team a tactical variation, being able to play the ball more direct and maybe even reverting to a more traditional 442. If something isn’t working in a game then Shinoda needs to have a plan B, and while Okubo is very predictable in how the team will play it is a change in tactics.
In this game Okubo seems to have changed the game. Within 5 minutes of coming on Kamiyama has played a route one ball upfield looking for Okubo’s head. Timing a near perfect flick header Okubo glanced the ball onto Jogo who managed to muscle past a defender and strike an unstoppable shot into the far corner from long range.
It will remembered as Jogo’s goal (and rightly so, as a fantastic shot) but Okubo coming on has played a big part in the goal.
As a little bonus watch out for the Ultra nearly fall out of the front of the stadium as he celebrates.
Having seen that Avispa had got an equaliser I was refreshing the web-page all the time thinking that we must have the momentum to go and win the game, but also remembered that I thought exactly the same against Thespa.
Thankfully this time it was different as the ball was pumped back into the box after a corner where again Okubo managed to get to it, chesting the ball down to Nakamachi in space in the box.
If Nakamachi has got space in the box this season it has generally led to a goal, and so it did here, as he cleverly slipped a ball through to Jogo who scored his 4th goal in the last 2 away matches.