Avispa 0 – 3 Nagoya
90 Kennedy (pen)
All the action for this game was pretty much forgotten at the end after the referee had a meltdown in the 2nd half and seemed to start playing for Nagoya. Giving fouls when Nagoya wasn’t even claiming them, missing a clear handball in the box at a time when Avispa were pushing to get back into things, awarding a penalty which Kennedy looked a bit embarrassed to be taking, and handing out 3 yellow cards in the last 3 minutes after totally losing control.
I felt sorry for the Avispa players who had put in a good performance, and also for the Nagoya players who totally deserved all three points after a fairly classy performance, but will be largely remembered for the referee.
I hope Avispa can take positives from the game; it isn’t games like this which will get them relegated, it is losing 2-0 to Yamagata at home which will and if they had performed as they did against Nagoya then they would have picked up more points against the ‘lesser’ teams.
Avispa seemed to be looking to make the midfield a bit more crowded with Shimizu coming in for the injured Matsuuda, and generally playing pretty well. Nagoya were constantly making chances with balls flying across the penalty area and not being converted, but Avispa did also have chances to score.
The chances for Avispa came largely on the break, with Jogo twice trying to run through the whole defence from halfway and score the Goal of the Season. The first of these runs was amazing, and I really wanted him to score, but on both occasions his final shot was weak. Yamagata got in on the act of trying to score Goal of the Season with a self-teed overhead kick, but most of the chances were falling at the other end.
I didn’t really enjoy watching Nagoya. While Tulio’s histrionics have a certain charm their overall play lacks a bit of fantasy in my opinion. It sums the team up that they have one of the most exciting young players in Kensuke Nagai (who didn’t get a good reception) but leave him on the bench. They leave him on the bench for Tamada who is having an amazing season, but is someone who despite being top scorer in the division this year doesn’t really excite me.
What they did do is show that a club needs an identity. They scored 3 goals and created a hatful of other chances, and all were in nearly exactly the same way. Balls passed around a midfield to draw the opposition narrow, with a ball out to either wing to turn the full-back and flash a cross across goal. While Kennedy provides the main threat they have men breaking into the box to slot home easily. Tamada and Fujimoto did this with ease, while Kennedy won the late penalty while tussling with Daiki when looking for a 3rd identical goal.
Avispa in comparison don’t seem to have a plan. If you asked the players how are you going to score a goal I’m not sure if they would know. There were lots of balls being crossed into the box in this game, but they have no clear presence to convert them. Especially not in this game where all the Nagoya players seem to be over 190cm.
They had a couple of quick counters, but that ended with Jogo alone trying to beat the whole defence which isn’t much of a tactic. Goals this season have come from all angles and styles, which is nice in a way, but they need to know how they want to play. Possibly this will change with the arrival of Ramazzotti as they have a clear target man.