Avispa 0 – 0 JEF
After the disappointment of Shonan things didn’t get any easier for Avispa as perennial ‘too good for J2’ team JEF Unitedcame to Level-5 and Avispa had changes enforced on them in midfield and defence as Tsutsumi and Suzuki were suspended and injured respectively.
Predictably Okada came into midfield, and I was very pleased to see Hatamoto came into defence. Previously I felt the managers would be happier to squeeze a more experienced player into an unfamiliar position rather than trust a youngster with their natural position.
JEF started like a train and I don’t know how they managed to avoid conceding after 3 minutes when after a succesion of corners and crosses one of them was headed back across goal to then hit the bar and fall at the feet of 2 incoming attackers to fail to connect from 1m away from an open net. Naruoka punted clear, and showed he is pretty useful in defence in a lot of this game.
Trying to use the flanks Fujita was looking dangerous in attack and holding the ball up pretty well, but then failing in the final step thanks in part to some last gasp defending, including a fantastic Hatamoto tackle in the penalty area, and a very dubious offside call where despite accusing Kim of playing him on it was actually Wada 2m ahead of him on the other side of the pitch he should have been more concerned about.
When he did get a shot on target Kamiyama had positioned himself well enough to block it well.
Avispa were not creating much at the other end. attacks were being focused down the left, while Jogo was often in lots of space and doing better work on the right. The only shot on goal being a header from Yutaka which was easily caught by their keeper from a Jogo cross.
At times I can’t really see where our goals are going to come from. Kamiyama seems to aim for Yutaka with all kicks forward, who isn’t enough of a target to hold up the ball, with Sueyoshi and Okada playing too deep to have much of a chance of getting 2nd balls when they do bounce down into space.
The pattern repeated into the 2nd half with the game being contested in midfield and from a number of corners for both teams which didn’t amount to anything.
I don’t know what has happened to our short corner routine but this game was crying out for it with a big space at the front of the box and defenders very much in control from crosses.
After 25 minutes of the half JEF took off Fjuita and things started to look a bit more relaxed for Avispa, especially when their Captain also went off injured, but the best chance of the game did slide pat the near post after JEF’s #9 played a clever through ball for their substitute striker to slide centimetres past the post.
Yusuke took a lot of abuse from the Ultras, which I was quite surprised about. At the start of the warm-up he came and bowed to the crowd and had been at Avispa for a long time before he left. My understanding is that he had plenty of offers to leave previously, and having just had a kid he has to think about more than the club if offers continue to come in.
The game fizzled out to a fairly hearty 0-0 draw. A result which neither club will be that happy about, but on a day when Kofu lost isn’t too bad.
Hatamoto looked great in defence after a very dodgy first 5 minutes, and Okada started to look like a pretty intelligent utility midfielder. Naruoka and Hatamoto both went off injured late, but hopefully both are nothing too serious.
Gainare next, and we should have happier times then.