As we head into November it seems that more often than not Avispa are playing their games in the pouring rain. This week was possibly the worst yet with an important away game being played out on a totally water-logged pitch, with drenched fans watching from Tokushima’s open air stadium.
It was a really important game for Avispa to win, made more so by JEF playing Ventforet Kofu at the same time. If Avispa could get all 3 points it would open up a 7 point gap ahead of JEF if Kofu win, or put them just a point behind Kofu if JEF won.
The conditions made it difficult to play, but Avispa were creating chances in the first half. Most notably when the ball reached Genki at the back of the box totally unmarked. With only the keeper to beat he skied the chance over the bar.
Remaining scoreless at half time Suzuki Jun was replaced with Yusuke on the right wing with the change paying dividends almost immediately as some clever play between Nakamachi and Yusuke got the ball to Sueyoshi on the edge of the area. Looking for space for a shot the ball bounced out to Lee at left-back to cleverly head back into the box where Jogo was waiting unmarked to slide it into the far corner.
It is a goal which Jogo has needed, and will hopefully give him a boost going into the remaining 6 games.
In an excellent position as they led away from home, and so did Kofu it looked like a big gap was going to open up between 3rd and 4th when Avispa seem to have switched off a little.
In very difficult conditions they twice gave Tokushima midfield time and space on the edge of the box to take a shot at goal. In exactly the right tactics for the conditions a shot of this type was always going to be difficult to pick up and twice Kamiyama was beaten diving to his right to give Tokushima the lead.
At a similar time JEF equalised to make it a bad week for Avispa.
With 10 minutes to play and with Yutaka having come on for Jogo it was Yusuke again who made something happen as he turned and crossed a ball towards the near post. Totally misjudging the situation the Tokushima captain tried to chest the ball down in the box and was caught out by Yutaka who snapped up the half chance with a very classy striker’s finish.
With both games now as draws it was a pretty good comeback for Avispa, but their increased desire for the game on a wet and rainy day saw them push on to try to take all 3 points.
Only 2 minutes remained on the clock when a high ball was lofted into the box for Jumbo to try to get something onto. He managed to do better than that by tying up a couple of defenders with the ball bouncing out to Nakamachi who had made a run into the box in search of the winning goal. 6 yards out with just the keeper to beat there are few other players I would like in that position and he calmly slid the ball in to snatch all three points.
A huge win for Avispa, and made that much better by Kofu scoring with a long range free kick at almost exactly the same time as the 3rd goal to make sure that JEF lost.
7 points clear of JEF with just 6 games left to play things are looking good.