Avispa 0 – 3 Sendai
21′ Matsushita, 68′ Matsushita, 82’Muto
You could watch this game and use it as a summary of the whole season for Avispa. It saw Avispa go through large parts of the game dominating possession and looking the more likely to score, before needlessly giving the ball away outside their own box to concede a goal; then later getting a very bad decision from the referee to totally kill the game.
All it really needed was a horrible goalkeeping mistake and it would be a perfect synopsis of our season.
The team only saw one change from the win against Omiya with Hideya coming in on the wing for the suspended Matsuura. Hideya did OK, but I think it was a huge error to not bring Kim in as a left winger to add more energy and a better crosser of the ball.
Avispa were seeing more of the ball in the first half but only being able to create half-chances with very little penalty box presence. Balls were being sent too straight down the middle with Jogo trying to run onto the ball rather than go and meet it.
They were given a big opportunity after 20 minutes as a Sendai midfielder handballed just inside their half, and then handballed again from the wall as Shigematsu hit at goal. The following free-kick was taken 10 yards closer to goal and nearly wrong footed the keeper as it seemed to take a deflection, but was hacked away by the goalkeepers legs.
Sendai were making very little but as has happened so often Avispa tried to pass the ball around in their own half and Naruoka pretty much gave the ball to Sendai’s #11. He went around Tatsunori on the outside and hit a powerful shot at Kamiyama who could only parry the shot to Matsushita in the middle of the penalty area who scored easily.
Matsushita was getting barracked by the crowd a lot after looking to feign an injury just before half-time, but was able to have the last laugh in the second half by scoring a second goal.
It was another terrible refereeing decision for Avispa as the chunky Korean left back for Sendai played a little basketball with the ball to get past Tatsunori and place a cross right onto Matsushit’s head to double their lead.
All the players and crowd knew it should have been disallowed, but in a game of 6-7 handballs the referee missed the most important and most blatant.
Avispa were finished by now. Suzuki Jun was putting more energy into shouting at the full-backs than he was at getting the ball back, and Asano’s answer to being 2-0 down being to bring on a player who found scoring at J2 level difficult, Yutaka. He hit a good free-kick which whistled just past the post, but doesn’t look capable of doing much beyond that these days.
Hideya had the best shot on goal after the ball came to him on the right of the box but it was quite easily pawed away by the diving Sendai keeper.
Matsushita finished off his good day by putting in a great ball to the substitute Muto who was given way too much space to turn, and hit a shot on the turn which shouldn’t have beaten Kamiyama but did to flatter Sendai.
3-0 did flatter them in my opinion, but actually it could have been 5-0 as the Sendai #9 missed a couple of sitters late on, and then smashed a really good volley against the post.