Archive for October 2010
The boys from Avispa will be making the short trip across the Setonaikai to get to Shikoku to play on the island for the 2nd time this season. Last time they went there was during their terrible run of form and they lost 2-1 against Ehime.
They’ll be hoping for a better result against a Tokushima team who have recently dropped off from their mid-season form.
In the home game against Tokushima it was a narrow victory for Avispa with Kamiyama saving a late penalty to secure a 1-0 win during a time when Tokushima were around the same points as Avispa. Since then Avispa have opened up a points gap and will be playing for promotion, while Tokushima don’t really have a lot to play for.
I expect Jumbo to stay at the top of the formation, and think that Jogo should probably stay with him to help his confidence; he scored most of his goals earlier away from home and may find it easier without the pressure of a home crowd.
I’d like to see Lee stay at left-back having performed well last week.
The odds are in favour of an Avispa win (2.38, 40%), with a Tokushima win and draw at near equal odds (31%, 28%). I would favour an Avispa win, but wouldn’t be certain enough to put a lot of money on it.
Tokushima 1 : 2 Avispa
It won’t be an easy game, and Avispa will have to fight for the points as Tokushima have proved to be a decent team this season. It will be won by nature of Avispa needing the win more than Tokushima. Goals to come from a penalty, and a late goal from a corner by Nakamachi.
Avispa 2 – 0 Giravanz
20 mins : ****GOAL**** A Kudo corner is hit to the back of the area for the 2nd time in a row. Sueyoshi collects and crosses back in for Nakamachi to head across goal. Genki scores with his head from 2m out.
25 mins : ****GOAL**** Fast break by Avispasees the ball get switched from left back position to Tatsunori on the right wing. A great cross finds Jumbo’s head after he makes the ground to get in a good centre-forward position in the box.
Kamiyama – 7. Not much to do throughout the game, but did everything asked of him.
Lee – 8. A great debut. There will be harder opponents, but he wasn’t out of place and offered himself in attack. Got cramp later in the game.
Tatsunori – 8. Good game. Never beaten at the back and got forward when he could to provide the assist for the 2nd goal.
Daiki – 8. Never looked troubled. Made a couple of key tackles.
Makoto – 8. Didn’t give the Kitakyushu attackers a chance. Had a chance to score.
Sueyoshi – 8. Dominated midfield and is getting better and better delivery. When Kudo starts to wind down his career will need to take set pieces until Suzuki gets a first team place.
Nakamachi – 9. Didn’t lose the ball, marshalled midfield and got an assist for the 2nd goal. Only really needs to add long range shooting his his game.
Kudo – 8. Looked better on the right wing than left, but had a solid game.
Genki – 8. Scored another goal to keep his great scoring going. Causes problems for defenders. Cutting in and shooting more than I have seen previously.
Jogo – 7. Still finding himself in goal-scoring positions, but struggling to find the net. Needs a goal to boost his confidence. Has the support of the players.
Jumbo – 8. Led the line well and was rewarded with a goal. Is still mistiming his jumps, but won more than he lost and won a few fouls around the box.
Hideya – 7. On for Kudo. Looked threatening, and had a few chances, but should have got himself a couple of goals against this opposition.
Yusuke – 6. This game was calling out for his to try something special in the 2nd half, but didn’t show a lot of energy. The sort of player who needs a challenge.
Nagira – 6. On for Lee. No time to do very much.
Shinoda – 8. Set the team up to score goals which they did early. Comfortable from then on, and gave a useful debut to a new player. Experimented with switching wings, which was useful even if it wasn’t really successful.
This must win game from last Sunday was put into context by JEF United losing to Yokohama FC on the Saturday before. The players and fans all knew that if they could get 3 points against the bottom club in the division they would open up a 4 point gap with just 6 weeks left to play.
The team starting the match had a new face as Jong Min Lee came into the team in place of the suspended Nakajima. This was different to the team which had been listed in the match-day program (along with a 2nd change as Jogo was playing in place of the listed Hideya), so may have been a late change.
Playing a against the weakest team in the division it was a good game to making a debut, but even taking this into account he played very well. Looking strong defensively, and accepting the ball in attack it may not be a straight forward decision to put Nakajima back in the team next week.
With Jumbo showing some better form in recent weeks it was no surprise to see him starting, but the team seemed to have more faith in their ability to play and weren’t just pumping balls up for him to try to flick on. They still did this some times, but with the potential to work the wings it was not as predictable and easy to defend against as it sometimes can be.
Kitakyushu were finding it difficult to get out of their own half, with Avispa bossing the midfield in a way I haven’t seen before. Kitakyushu were the weakest team I have seen so far by some distance.
Through continued pressure Avispa were creating chances, with a couple of these falling to Jogo who is still getting into good positions but seems to have lost all confidence in front of goal. Hopefully he will score soon and be back.
Winning a couple of corners Kudo’s delivery was not as good as it has been, with balls being overhit. The second of these was collected on the far wing by Sueyoshi who cut past a defender onto his left foot and hit a better cross right onto Nakamachi’s head. Playing the ball back across goal it was met by Genki to score the opening goal which had looked to be coming for a while.
After the goal Avispa were still looking for another to make the game safe, but were so secure in their lead that Shinoda made Genki and Kudo switch wings. It was the first time I had seen them do this. I don’t know if it was just as an experiment to see how effective it would be with wingers cutting in rather than going round the outside, or if it was just to provide Lee with more cover from the more defensive Kudo.
After 25 minutes a Kitakyushu broke down on the right wing with the ball quickly distributed to Jumbo for a counter. While not the fastest counter-attack in the world the ball did manage to find Tatsunori using his great stamina to have broken forward into a right wing position. Playing a great cross onto Jumbo’s head the goalkeeper was left with no chance of stopping Avispa doubling their lead.
At this point it looked like Avispa were going to be able to score 5-6 goals and open up a good goal difference over the teams chasing them in the league, but this never really happened.
While not really ever being threatened, and not risking getting any further suspensions or injuries the rest of the game was played out at a fairly relaxed pace. 3 points secure and a 4 point gap between them and JEF United with all of the team available for selection against the harder game against Tokushima next week.
After the win last weekend against Thespa, Avispa will be looking to confirm their return to form with another home win against opposition from the lower half of the table as Giravanz make the short trip from Kitakyushu.
It is Kitakyushu’s first season in J2 and they have struggled for much of the season, having only won 1 game all season and being in risk of setting the lowest ever points score for the division (18).
Being a local derby, and with several ex-Avispa players in their team it is potentially a harder game than it looks on paper, but I still expect Avispa to win quite comfortably.
The biggest problem will be in defence, with Nakajima being suspended after being sent off for the 2nd time this season last week. Miyaji hasn’t even been on the bench recently (I’m guessing because of injury), and neither has Hiraishi. With Nagira succumbing to cramp every time he plays there may be problems.
I’d like to see Yusuke given a chance to start; not because Kudo has played badly, but just as an opportunity to prove his worth against lower level opposition and give more angles for attack.
Jumbo will start after playing so well last week, but needs to be able to stay confident. It would be nice if Oyama was on the bench for some game time in case Avispa are safe after 60 minutes.
Avispa 4 – 0 Giravanz
Avispa will be looking to show that they are still on track for auto-promotion, and should be trying to put some goal difference on JEF and Verdy.
Giravanz will make it difficult, but after conceding one goal could find things difficult as they chase the game.
Avispa welcomed Thespa to Level 5 Stadium looking to avenge their defeat from earlier in the season. At the time it was aterrible result as Thespa were at the bottom of the table with few wins and looking like they were struggling.
Since then they have been playing very well and climbed away from the bottom of the table so was unlikely to be an easy game.
Despite this it was a game which it was very important that Avispa won if they had any hopes of staying in the promotion spots to J1.
The team lined up with Jumbo up front which is understandable after the way he played against Roasso, and a great assist in the Sanfrecce game. It also makes sense as Jogo seems to have totally lost confidence.
The first goal came 56 minutes into the 2nd half as Avispa attacked the home end. Having said after the Roasso game that the team needs to attack the channels and turn the full-backs this seems to have happened to good effect as Nakaji sent a ball for Genki to chase and put in a great cross. Jumbo was in the right place at the right time and scored with a really good first time shot.
Straight after the goal it seems like Thespa went up the other end and won a corner which they went on to score from. I am always a little worried at the lack of defensive height for Avispa, but this seems to have come from a shot rather than a header.
To conclude a frantic 5 minutes there was then a handball in the Thespa box which resulted in a penalty. Showing some confidence and vision Jumbo played another great ball into the channel for Kudo to run onto. Continuing his run into the box he collected the return pass and shot towards goal from a similar position to his goal. Closed down by 3 diving defenders one of them seems to have made a diving save to block the shot.
Despite complaining about the decision the defender was sent off and Jumbo took the penalty himself to complete his brace and Avispa’s important win.
There was still time for Nakajima to get sent off after 2 yellow cards in a minute. I don’t know the circumstances behind it, but is a suspension which may cause some problems next week. Miyaji hasn’t even been on the bench recently which must be for injury as he has played well this season, and Nagira was the only sub defender this week, and has been victim to cramp in each of the games he has started.
After a week off Avispa went up to Hiroshima for the Emperors Cup trying to get a result which would hopefully raise spirits in the squad after 2 consecutive defeats.
The team lined up a little differently to the games against Kumamoto and Kashiwa, with Nagira and Suzuki Jun being brought into the team for Makoto and Genki, while Jumbo and Yusuke also started with Jogo and Kudo being dropped to the bench.
I suspect that Genki and Makoto were rested after playing a lot of games this season, while Jumbo and Yusuke stayed in the team after playing better than the players they replaced against Kumamoto.
Sanfrecce are currently comfortable in J1 (9th), and it will have surely given Avispa a big boost to their confidence to take the lead through Yusuke early in the 2nd half. Coming under attack at the end of the half, they conceded a goal just 2 minutes before the end despite having gone more defensive with Abe coming on for Suzuki.
It seemed like the momentum would probably be with Sanfrecce as they went to extra time, but Avispa again scored very shortly after the restart with another goal from Yutaka (having come on for Hideya). Unfortunately they again conceded a very late goal to take the game to penalties.
Avispa coming through the penalty shoot-out to set up a quarter final match against Omiya in the next round.
All players scored with it being won in sudden death with Sueyoshi calmly scoring. Interesting to see that despite being on the pitch Jogo didn’t take a penalty, it seems his confidence might be shot.
Penalty 1 : Yutaka, powerful shot down the middle.
Penalty 2 : Nakamachi, keeper guesses the right way but the shot is fortunately right in the corner.
Penalty 3 : Jumbo, gets lucky again as another penalty creeps under the keeper.
Penalty 4 : Abe, excellent penalty. Keeper goes the wrong way, powerfully hit.
Penalty 5 : Nakajima, keeps his nerve when a miss would have lost the game. Keeper goes the right way but find the corner.
Kamiyama save : Steps one way but moves the other and makes a good save from a weakly hit penalty.
Penalty 6 : Sueyoshi, Keeper moves early and Sueyoshi calmly scores the other side.
1st Goal: No idea where Nakajima is for the goal, but it had come after a spell of ball being switched from wing to wing. I guess he has been dragged central where Cullen gets his head on the ball despite having 3 defenders near him.
Goal 2: This goal sums up the whole game. Avispa attacking and giving the ball away. Kumamoto playing a totally direct game and catching the Avispa defence out.
Avispa goal: After a spell of all sorts of problems for Kumamoto a penalty is awarded. I’m not sure which challenge got the penalty but 2 players end up going down holding their heads.
Extended highlights including the 2 shots hitting the bar can be seen on this video. There also seems to have been a goal disallowed for offside, but sitting miles away I totally missed that.