Avispa Fukuoka 1 : 2 Jubilo Iwata
Who has been our best player for the last 3 games? Kentaro Shigematsu.
Which player was the only change after the defeat to Urawa Reds? Kentaro Shigematsu.
I really hope that Shigematsu starting from the bench was a reflection of him being tired after playing so many games in the hot weather, and having a game which involves him running, rather than as a choice by the manager.
I don’t have anything against Naruoka coming into the team, that guy has to step up and play at some point, but to do so at the expense of Shigematsu is crazy. It meant that Avispa started the game rooted to the bottom of the table with 2 strikers who like to float around and play flick passes while staying on the periphery of the area.
Almost by default this meant that again the closest that Avispa got to scoring for the first half of the game was to get the wingers in advanced positions and seemingly be looking for a deflection and corner with their crosses as there was no-one to aim for in the box. Alternatively the ball could be laid off outside the box for someone like Takumi Wada to run on to and blaze 25m off target. Again, I’m not having a go at Wada, at least he has the gumption to take shots on, but why does our left-back who has scored 3 goals in his 7 year career take more shots than our strikers?
Jubilo were not looking great in attack either, but the big difference being that during the few times they did get the ball into the final third they always looked like scoring. After a fairly bizarre incident where there Brazilian left-winger tried to head the ball and dove straight onto the post, they had another deep back post cross which Kanazono headed over Rokutan for what looked like a certain goal. Daiki somehow managed to scissor kick it onto the post and away for a corner.
The danger wasn’t gone and for the second game in a row Wada was beaten to a ball bouncing at his feet in the middle of the area as Kanazono powered through him and shot past helpless Rokutan. It was weak defending, and something which for all his attacking makes Wada something of a liability.
The pattern of possession and long shots by Avispa continued, and then on their next attack Jubilo scored again. This goal was more like the Jubilo from the home game with a really classy exchange of passes, piece of fantastic skill, and chip finish over the keeper by Yamada. It is a goal worth watching the highlights for.
Avispa were 2-0 down and buried. They looked a little better after the break, especially after Hideya had come back from injury to replace Yusuke on the right and Shigematsu had come on to fill the role he should have done from the start.
They managed to work a goal as Yamagata got the ball on the right and crossed into the area where Naruoka was actually waiting and headed really well just inside the post. It led to a frantic last 10 minutes, but in reality we never looked like equalising.
The only other real thing of note from the game was when Jubilo’s number 6 Nasu (?) seemed to get one of his teeth knocked out by Jogo. It was a total accident and Jogo found the tooth for him which was carried over to the coaches to look after while Nasu carried on playing. It was an incident easily missed as the Jubilo guy didn’t seem in the least bit concerned he had just had one of his front teth knocked out and was a hark back to an earlier era when players didn’t dive all over the pitch.