Yokohama Marinos 3 : 2 Avispa Fukuoka
This game saw 2 players come good and score a brace a-piece, but unfortunately for Avispa the supporting cast for Yokohama were superior and will see us remain on the bottom of the table with no points, albeit after what was probably our best performance of the season.
The game started brightly for Avispa with the players going at the higher pace of play which has characterized them at the start of games this season. Playing with energy suits the team and they were stretching Yokohama with Hideya and Jogo both looking to come a little deeper than in previous games, while also getting back to attack the box when necessary.
Avispa nearly took the lead from a corner as Hideya hit a bullet header against the cross-bar which would have given the keeper no chance. Shortly afterwards Avispa did take the lead after a really neat interchange of passes between Jogo and Yusuke set Jogo into the box to strike cleanly home. This goal saw Jogo in his best position, running from deeper as an attacking midfielder and is how he should be used.
Having taken the lead for the second time this season Avispa then doubled their lead. Kim Min Je got forward as he’s done well throughout the season so far, with the big difference being that when he looked up this time Jogo was arriving on the edge of the box. Finding him with an intelligent ball Jogo hit a scuff-shot first time into the corner. Again Jogo was arriving onto the deg of the box rather than being asked to compete in the box as the furthest man forward.
Going into half-time I still wasn’t confident that the team was going to go home with all the points, but it was the high point of the season so far. Coming out for the second half it was imperative to play keep ball for 10 minutes to try and take the wind out of the Marinos half-time team talk.
Almost exactly the opposite happened as Marinos scored almost direct from the kick-off. A long ball into the channel was tipped on by Ogura for Watanabe to head a looped header over the stranded Kamiyama. Despite being in the lead I would have settled for a point at that time.
Avispa didn’t seem too rattled and Jogo had a couple of chances to score the season’s first hattrick but had powerfully hit shots saved comfortably by the keeper.
After 55 minutes I was quite pleased to see Oguro go off as he has looked like he could score every time I have seen him. Unfortunately his replacement was some new wonderkid Yuji Ono who I have been oblivious to in the wasteland of J2.
Yokohama were pouring forward in search of goals, with Korean defender Kim Kun-Hoan playing as a make-shift striker alongside Ono and Watanabe. Shinoda made the decision to replace the impressive Kim Mi Je with Wada, presumably to try and add some more height.
After a few good saves from Kamiyama, and some last ditch defending a moment of class from Ono drew the teams level. With balls going into the Avispa box one after another the ball came out to Ono on the left side of the box where he curled the ball beyond Kamiyama and inside the far post.
Marinos were not going to settle for a draw and left the tall defender up front to be a nuisance. After a shot from the right was saved from Hyodo, and with Marinos’ defender trying to force the rebound home under a suspicion of handball, Ono rattled home the loose ball to take Marinos into the lead with 10 minutes left to play.
We’ve conceded goals to lose the match in the 80th minute in 4 of 5 games this season and have never looked like being able to go up the other end and equalise. Today’s game was exactly the same and Avispa leave empty handed.
A good performance again, not getting a lot of luck again, no points again. Each game this season has has Avispa starting well and dying towards the end of the game, I don’t know if this is an issue with nerves, tactics, or fitness but it needs to be sorted quickly with the team maintaining their performance throughout a game.