Jubilo Iwata 4 – 1 Avispa Fukuoka
Having had 6 games on the bounce where we have been able to say that we played well, didn’t get any luck, and ended up with no points, there was always going to be a game where we played badly.
Having seen us get demolished by Oita Trinita in the tsunami fund-raiser I am surprised that it took this long for us to have a stinker of a match, but up against a really well drilled Jubilo Iwata game we got thrashed this week.
As I had expected Naruoka Sho was brought into the team in place of Suzuki Jun who has sadly been pretty ineffective having come in for the injured Nakamachi, and it was nice to see Tanaka Makoto back into the team in place of Yamaguchi; both players presumably eager to face off against their old clubs and show the fans that they could still put in a performance.
They didn’t get much of a chance as Jubilo put Avispa behind after just 5 minutes having relentlessly attacked direct team attacks. There team is summed up by Ryoichi Maeda the National Team player who has socred as many goals as anyone in the J-League in recent years. Not trying to do anything too flashy, but working very hard to get the ball back off the opposition and then getting into space to provide an easy pass for their team-mates. It was an easy tactic, but one which needs a very well disciplined and well drilled team, Avispa just couldn’t cope.
The first goal came after a flick-on by Maeda found young striker Yamazaki on the edge of the box. Hitting a fairly speculative shot towards goal it should probably been saved by Rokutan who had come in for Kamiyama and instantly proven he wasn’t a better solution as keeper.
Having gone ahead Jubilo refused to lower their pace, and were getting the ball back off Avispa while it was still in the Avispa half by pressing fast into players and taking advantage of loose first touches. Avispa had one shot on goal after a long diagonal ball towards Matsuura, but deservedly went behind by more as a long punt upfield was headed down to the winger by Maeda where a chip cross was easily flicked inside the far post by the same player. It was 2-0, could have been 4-0, and Maeda was tearing us apart by the effective simplicity of his game.
As Avispa pushed up to try and get anything from the game Jubilo killed it as a contest with a fast counter from the back. Kobayashi ran from half-way, and while it looked for a moment like he might replicate Usami’s goal from last week, it was in keeping with the game so far that he played a simple pass cutting through the defensive line for Yamamoto to score easily.
Things got no better after the restart as another long ball forward towards Maeda resulted in another goal. I’ve known for a while that Daiki would be caught out by diving over as soon as he gets touched by a chasing attacker, and so it happened in this game. Being hustled by Maeda on the turn he went to ground in search of a free-kick allowing Maeda to run into the box and strike past Rokutan with the outside of his boot. Hopefully Daiki will depend on the referee to make a call a little less in future games as I have seen this one coming.
Things got marginally better for Avispa after the totally ineffective Naruoka was replaced with Suzuki Jun, but Hideya’s classy late goal (curled in over the keeper in a manner not disimilar to Sueyoshi last week) was never anything more than a consolation for the travelling away fans who had been a credit to the club, outsinging the home fans for almost the whole game.