Shimizu 1 : 0 Avispa Fukuoka
7 Shots 6
4 Corners 7
23 Free kicks 12
0 Yellow 0
0 Red 0
A massively disappointing result, made all the more worse by the general performance of the team. I feel like I could have written the match report before the game as it was again a case of not having a striker on the pitch coupled with a lack of quality in the final third which denied Avispa all 3 points.
Both teams suffered from a serious lack of quality in the first half which saw only 5 shots on goal, only 2 of which were on target. Hampered by some heavy rain play was disrupted by both teams giving the ball away every time they tried to attack; either by some appalling first touches or wayward passes any time they tried to go forward. It was perhaps best summed up by Kamiyama’s kicking which seems to have deserted him and saw the ball going straight into touch several times.
Avispa had the best chances to score, Jogo forcing a regulation save after hitting a ball first time from outside the area after being fed by Kim Min Je, and then heading over from a position he should have done better from (or left it for the incoming Nakamachi to head) from the same left wing.
The closest either team came to scoring was from the familiar short corner routine which Nakamachi hit well, but was too close to the keeper and could be palmed over the bar.
Matsuura was looking ineffective on the left, Yusuke seems to have lost his pace on the right and the central 4 seemed to be playing as we were still playing friendlies at times. Yamaguchi was giving a free-kick away every time the ball was played long to Shimizu’s Takahara and it might be the first time I have ever seen a referee blow for half-time before 45 minutes had been played.
Coming out for the second half Avispa continued to attack on the left wing should have taken the lead several times in the first 10 minutes. Matsuura trickled a ball along the 6 yard line which was able to be cleared with time to spare due to our lack of a striker, and Hideya then managed to find Yusuke coming in from the opposite wing who hit the ball straight at a diving defender when he really should have scored. Both opportunities coming from Shimizu defenders being too hesitant on the ball. It looked like the only way either team would score was from a mistake from the other team.
At the other end Avispa were not really being troubled at all, which sod’s law dictates they were going to concede. A new Australian player came on for Shimizu and seemed to make a difference as they retained the ball better and started to play in the Avispa half.
With only 10 minutes left to play a fairly innocuous ball from midfield was needlessly handled by Daiki right on the edge of the area. he probably couldn’t have had too many complaints if a penalty had been given. It didn’t matter in the end as the Shimizu #11 Genki, who along with Takahara had been their most effective player, dinked a free kick over the wall and inside the near post.
Shinoda brought on some attackers, but it was Shimizu who came closer to scoring a 2nd as they rattled the cross-bar with a volley from outside the area after Avispa players had again given the ball away.
Another defeat when they really could have got a valuable away win. From today’s performance I think both teams might be in trouble, with Avispa in it deeper and in serious need of Naruoka to come back and provide a little bit more class in the final 3rd.