Kawasaki Frontale 3 – 2 Avispa Fukuoka
Avispa went into the game on the back of their first win, and welcoming back their talismanic Captain Nakamachi, and looked full of confidence to start the game putting some moves together with an attacking midfield of Nakamachi and Suzuki (Sueyoshi was suspended).
Nakamachi was showing what he brings to the team inside the first 10 minutes as he was first to a knockdown by Suzuki Jun in the middle of the pitch and played a first time ball over the top for Jogo to run onto. Jogo hit the ball well, but straight at the keeper when he probably should have scored.
Both teams were knocking the ball around well, but not making the final product, but as Avispa held the ball higher up the pitch they opened up space at the back which Junichi Inamoto still has the quality to take advantage of by placing a shot from outside the box beyond Rokutan after he was allowed too much space and time.
Avispa didn’t deserve to be behind on the balance of play, but it always looked likely as again they held the ball without taking advantage, and then left things too light at the back as they tried to push forward to try to make their possession count.
Exacerbated by going a goal behind they got caought on the counter again as Daiki was bundled through on the right of the box with a cross being put across to Kengo Nakamura on the back of the box. As with Inamoto he had the skill and composure to pick his spot and score a spirit killing 2nd on the brink of half-time.
Kengo had been outstanding in the first half looking like he could slice open the Avispa defence almost every time he got the ball.
By this time Kawasaki had had 3 shots and scored from 2 of them as Avispa couldn’t cope with the fast breaks and ball movement from a team who know well you must take your chances in J1.
The game seemed over as the 2nd half started, and was then totally killed by another goal on the break. Kawasaki were still holding off the Avispa attack and scored another after a run down the right was crossed to Juninho at the back post who didn’t need to be asked twice to score his obligatory goal. He will always get a bunch of goals in J1, but he did at times looks like he wanted to get his goals rather than score for the team.
Avispa were still playing with heart, but no real goal-scorer on the pitch, things changed when Hideya was brought on for Matsuura. Hideya seems to be able to score goals, and while Matsuura has played well this season he hasn’t ever really looked like scoring. Something about Hideya means he knows where the net is and has a knack of getting shots on target.
He did it again today almost straight after coming on. Collecting a knock-down to the left wing he ran direct to goal and took advantage of space to hit a great long-range shot inside the right post and get a consolation goal.
He then turned the consolation goal into a route back into the goal by scoring another. Again collecting a cross field ball to the left win he ran straight at goal and juggled over the right-back and volleyed sweetly under the keeper to get his second in 7 minutes and real hope.
He has been showing a directness this season which Avispa should be trying to replicate all over the pitch. Jogo and Naruoka are capable of tidy flicks and clever passes, but Hideya has now scored 5 goals in about 10 games.
Kawasaki tried to just hold off against an Avispa side looking like they thought they could score an equaliser. They had a couple of half chances, and a shout for a penalty after Yutaka headed back across goal only for the ball to go direct into the mid-riff of an onrushing defender. A point would have been a fair result, but the team should still be happy with lots of the performance and head to the midweek game optimistic of winning (and with Hideya playing instead of Matsuura).