Ventforet Kofu 2 – 1 Avispa Fukuoka
3′ Havenaar, 28′ Paulinho, 47′ Hideya
It may have been blind optimism but I had geniunely believed that there was a way out of relegation for Avispa, and at each home game there is a big banner saying much the same. That belief for me evaporated today.
We’ll be playing in J2 next season having finished our season back in the top flight in last place.
The writing was on the wall as soon as I saw the team-sheet. Returning to the team was Kamiyama in goal who has been a total wreck this season, and true to form let in another howler to put in a youtube compilation video somewhere as he tried to run out as sweeper and reach a ball on the right before Mike Havenaar. Failing miserably to do so Mike tipped the ball past him to roll into the net agonisingly slowly.
At the other end Asano had dropped Jogo but retained Naruoka and Hideya when the rainy conditions would seem to be ideal for Ramazotti and Shigematsu. Between them they managed the total of zero shots on target in the first half, although there was what looked like a perfectly good goal by Nakamachi ruled out for offside from a suzuki setpiece just before half time.
By that time Avispa were already 2 down after a neat turn in the box by Mike had drawn a foul from Daikifor a penalty which Paulinho calmly converted.
Asano changed things for the 2nd half with like for like substitutions as Jogo and Sueyoshi came on. It seemed like a total waste of time but those two players combined to lay a chance on a plate for Hideya.
They seemed to then spend the rest of the half trying to do the same with short passes and knockdowns in the box when it really needed a selfish striker to show a bit of confidence and test the keeper.
At times it may have looked like there was a way back into the match for Avispa, but the reality is that against the team in 17th position they werent ever really in any danger of getting any points.