Avispa 2 : 1 Sanfrecce
40′ Sueyoshi, 75′ Naruoka – 90′ Mizumoto
With the spectre of mathematical relegation hanging over them the Avispa team pulled out their best performance of the season and get all 3 points from 7th placed Sanfrecce.
There were some surprises before the game as Nakamachi was dropped to the bench with the 2 younger players Jun and Sueyoshi coming into the middle of the pitch where they probably add a little more bite, and the very welcome addition of Shigematsu as striker. I found this a little harder to understand, not because he shouldn’t be in the team but because he should have been 5 months ago and won’t be around when we are in J2 so isn’t the best person to get experience now.
From the outset it was clear that the team had been told to play at a higher pace with a bit more bite and were sending more direct balls forward rather than playing around defence. These balls were being dealt with quite easily by the Hiroshima defence as Jogo tried to run onto balls rather than attacking the ball but Avispa were generally looking the more threatening with Daiki playing well and Sanfrecce mainly looking towards Mikic as their outlet who was getting frustrated by the tenacity of Matsuura.
Jogo started dropping a little deeper looking for the ball which didn’t look to be helping but then led directly to a goal as he allowed Sueyoshi to break past him into the box where he hit a shot on the turn which crept past the keeper sending the stadium into raptures. It also led to a bizarre goal celebration as Jogo tripped and threw Sue to the floor having possibly watched too much DREAM last night.
Avispa really needed to hold on until half time and did so well and desrved their lead. Sanfrecce came out early for the second half but carried on in a similar vein with balls headed out to Mikic while Avispa tried to set Jogo free with balls over the top.
Tadanari Lee was being kept quiet and Avispa nearly doubled their lead with Jogo doing a characteristic clever lob over the keeper from about 3m out which hit the bar, then hit the keeper and appeared to bounce over the line although when I watched it back on TV it was the correct decision to not give the goal as it bounced right on the line.
Avispa started to look abit desperate with Sue being drafted in as a makeshift centre-back to make a back 5 inviting Sanfrecce to attack. The Sanfrecce number 11 had a crazy chance to equalise from about a metre out but couldnt make contact with his head and the Avispa scored again out of almost nothing.
As Asano looked to substitute him Naruoka started to chase down the Sanfrecce defence who had inexplicably decided to pass around their penalty area. Assisted by Jogo they got the ball back and rather than take 4 touches he hit it first time to make it 2-0.
Avispa still looked very nervous and kept the 5 man defence with Kamiyama having to make a couple of great stops from Mujiri and Mikic. The save from Mikic being particularly good as he palmed a fierce shot onto the post with 5 minutes remaining.
Avispa were clearing the ball wildly, but seemed to have done enough before conceding in the last minute quite unfortunately. A corner was crossed in where it got glanced onto Daiki’s face sending him down in a heap. The ball bounced around a bit exactly where Daiki would have been standing before being forced home.
It led to 3 very nervous minutes of injury time, but Avispa did enough andpicked up another win