Avispa Fukuoka 1 – 3 Tokyo Verdy
22′ Abe, 53′ Takahashi, 64′ Sakata, 85′ Takahashi
Our first home defeat of the season, and it followed the same pattern as has been seen in the other defeats in April. Coming up against a team which has a better midfield than us we cannot supply balls into dangerous areas, and allow the opposition to launch attacks from within our half.
Keeping the same team as that which beat Tokushima was fairly straight-forward, but playing against Verdy is a very different proposition to a down-beat Tokushima, even without their bright prospect Kobayashi.
Our 2 central midfielders of Suzuki Jun and Sueyoshi were again chasing shadows for much of the game, and with Naruoka playing a lot narrower to make up numbers it meant we had no-one out left for much of the game. An issue compounded by Kim being left out for the much more defensive Omata.
In games like this we need to sacrifice an attacker to get hold of midfield as in Jogo, Naruoka and Sakata we have 3 of the best attackers in the division who cause problems every time they get the ball.
Having said that, Tokyo weren’t an awesome team on this showing, and reminded me a lot of Avispa in trying to over-complicate things at times and the first half didn’t have many direct chances.
Of the chances which were created Tokyo scored as the ball was given away by Yutaka allowing a Verdy cross to be aimed at Josimar (who has got a lot bigger since I last saw him) who got in a tangle with Kamiyama and Omata allowing the loose ball to be slotted in by Abe.
At the other end Sakata was freed in the box by Suzuki Jun and will be disappointed at seeing his shot slice badly wide, and we nearly got a lucky equaliser as the Tokyo #3 got mixed up on a cross and only missed side-footing an own goal by about 1m.
Avispa didn’t look out of it, and should recall that in our promotion season we went behind in about half the games we ended up winning. Unfortunately we gave away a silly 2nd goal which made things very difficult. What looked like a regulation cross was missed by everyone and ended up sitting in the far corner 20 minutes into the 2nd half.
We kept pushing for a way back in, but just cannot get the ball into dangerous areas. Sakata showed that on occasions when we can he will do the rest as a cross into the box from Omata was acrobatically scored by Sakata with a first time overhead kick. In a season of great goals this may have been his best, and shows that we just need more penalty box entries.
As We went looking for an equaliser again it was Tokyo who ended up scoring a 3rd as a cross into the box was won by substitute Maki, even though he was being challenged by three defenders. With everyone marking him the ball came to the back post for a low cross to be fired back across goal for Takahashi to get his 2nd of the game.
He would have a quite eventful game after scoring 2 goals then being very lucky to avoid being sent off as he came up behind Kihara and clashed heads after a challenge. It wasn’t a full head-butt, but he made contact with his head and would likely have gone if the referee had seen it.
I’ll put it down again, this is how we need to play against the harder teams in the division…