Avispa 1 : 0 Kofu
16′ Yusuke Tanaka
The day has finally come!
Avispa today registered their first 3 points of the season, and were good value for the win having played some attacking football and made as many clear chances to score as they have in the last 4-5 games put together.
The team started out with the same line-up as against Jubilo where they had done OK, but with a big change on the bench as Nakamachi made his long awaited return. I don’t know if it was due to this, or the fact we were playing a club which came up from J2 with us, but there seemed to be a buoyant atmosphere in the stadium. It may have also been helped by the return of Genki who got an even worse welcome than I had anticipated.
As with most games Yusuke started with a lot of energy on the wing and made an early impression with a barn-storming run through a few players down the wing. the midfield 2 were looking a bit more dynamic than they have recently and had times when they were in control of the centre of the park. It was from one of these occasions of winning the ball back in the centre circle that they were able to start an attack which led to the goal.
I had complained after the game against Jubilo that Jogo was heading out to the wing rather than being a threat on goal, and this is what he did again today. The big difference today being that as he took up position on the wing Yusuke drove straight at the box and was fed by Jogo to hit it first time past the keeper and take the lead. I think it was the first time since Gamba Osaka that we have taken the lead in a game.
It wasn’t undeserved and we had a couple of chances to increase the lead. Suzuki Jun lobbed what looked like a wasted ball into the box but he had seen a run I’d missed and it landed onto Jogo who improvised a lob of his own over the keeper. It was the sort of skill he is capable of, and the Kofu keeper just managed to scramble back to claw it past the post.
Matsuura was being a successful nuisance on the left and had a chance from outside the box which narrowly went past the post.
Having been on top and not scored a second it was always a bit nervy that Ventforet could score and deflate the team. They had a couple of corners which were both aimed at their big #2 who was being pretty badly marked by Jogo. The first one he should have scored with some ease from a free header, the second was harder but he managed to head it onto the top of the bar.
After this scare Avispa sat back a little more with their banks of 4 and 5 absorbing attacks and trying to make it half-time. At the back Daiki was dealing with Mike very well and Genki wasn’t really getting much of a look in from Yamagata. I don’t think Rokutan made a save in the whole half, in fact he may not have made one in the whole match.
The 2nd half followed a similar pattern to the first with Yusuke causing trouble down the right and very nearly creating the 2nd goal which would have worked wonders to calm the nerves of the players and supporters. In a reversal of roles from the goal he got beyond the full-back and passed along the floor to an onrushing Jogo who hit it well but past the near post when he really should have scored.
Ventforet were making sporadic chances of there own, with their left back #6 looking particularly useful, but were also spurning these chances as they were crossed into the box where they seemed to be distinctly taller than Avispa but were unable to test Rokutan (which should surely be the main tactic for anyone who has seen our goalkeepers this year).
Further chances followed for Avispa with Suzuki Jun glancing a header wide after a cross from the right, Sueyoshi hitting powerfully at a blocking defender after some confusion at the back post, and Hideya hitting straight at the goalkeeper on the half-volley.
These chances were coming up with the help of Ventforet really pushing forward and being helped by a referee who seemed to want a grandstand finish by offering up a couple of dubious free-kicks and corners, but they never really came close to scoring and Avispa celebrated a long overdue victory as if they had just won the Cup.