Archive for May 6, 2012

vs. Tochigi SC (report)   Leave a comment

Tochigi 1 – 0 Avispa
48′ Cha Yon Fa
Match abandoned after 65 minutes

After the game was delayed for 30 minutes because of an electric storm, and then stopped twice as the storm restarted it was eventually decided to be abandoned as the rain continued and lightning flashed down around the stadium.
Ordinarily I would be quite annoyed to miss the end of the game, but was actually pleased to be able to stop watching this game as it was one of the worst I’ve ever watched.

Avispa players might point to the fact that after 4 games in 10 days, or the difficulty of a stop-start match, or the wet and rainy conditions, it was hard to play. The reality was that they were nowhere near good enough.

Starting with the same formation as had been so ineffective this season they went through a first half in which neither team produced any chances of any note. The ball was continually being given away in midfield, with Yutaka in particular offering no threat at goal despite being given a chance back in the team after Sakata’s injury.

Thankfully Tochigi were no better, and it looked like a 0-0 was the only likely result as they went into half-time with 2 long range shots as the only action of the half.

As the second half started a long ball towards the Tochigi corner was collected by a Tochigi player who got the wrong side of Hatamoto and was brought down for a free-kick.
Having conceded goals from crosses for the last month I’d hoped that the team might have abandoned their hopeless zone defence, and been practicing defending corners all week. Unfortunately it seem s they have been playing baseball at training instead and conceded another set-piece goal as 3 Tochigi players lined up to convert from the middle of the goal under no pressure from any Avispa player.

Maeda’s response was to take off one of our most offensive players in Kim Min Je and replace him with the more defensive Omata. Thankfully he also took off Yutaka for Kihara who immediately looked better, but wasn’t going to be able to win the game on his own.

As Avispa continued to give the ball away every time they got the ball Tochigi nearly pit the game out of reach with a couple of quick counters.
I nearly switched off around 55 minutes. I’d really like the Avispa players to sit down and watch the game from 50-60 minutes and see if they are happy with the way they are playing. Fortunately I had the decision taken out of my hands as the referee took the players off the pitch, probably thankful to not have to witness any more of this horrible, amateurish performance.

My Avispa Man of the Match.
Kihara – Only on the pitch for 10 minutes but did more, and played with more energy than anyone else in that 10 minutes.


Posted May 6, 2012 by avispafukuoka in Match Reports

vs. Tochigi SC (preview)   Leave a comment

After three 1-1 draws in the last 3 weeks it wouldn’t be the most unlikely result again this week with 2 teams who aren’t a millions miles away from each other in ability.
Having said that I think that after the games with Mito and Oita it is the one result which Avispa will be really trying to avoid.

Both teams are similar in that they are largely made up of new players trying to gel together into a team, and that they both have ambitions to promote up to J1 but have started the season slowly.

Avispa news
The big news for Avispa is that having gone off injured on Thursday Sakata doesn’t look like he will make a game this soon.
It means that up front we will probably be starting with Yutaka and Nishida.

I would prefer it if different options to a straight swap were looked at. I see it as a perfect time to try an extra man in midfield, with my choice being to have Naruoka in the hole with Kim and Kihara on the wing.

In reality I think that apart from Yutaka coming in for Sakata the only change likely to happen might be Kim for Omata.

I’d like to hope they have spent all week training for corners. Both in attack, and especially in defence where they have conceded 2 goals costing 4 points in the last week.

Tochigi news
Having lost their star striker Ricardo Lobo to Kashiwa in the close season Tochigi had to rebuild their squad this year. It meant that they had a quite slow start to the season, and find themselves in an almost identical place in the table to Avispa.

Their best player is in Avispa’s problem area with Paulinho trying to dictate rhythm in the middle of the pitch and pick out balls to the two Brazilians brought in to try and replace Lobo: Sabia and Jairo. At the moment they have been unimpressive, but will be going all out to secure a reputation.

The most interesting player for Avispa fans will be Tatsunori Yamagata at right-back. I don’t really understand the circumstances behind him leaving Avispa after over 200 games last season, but the reaction of the away fans towards him will probably explain whose decision it was.
Avispa know he has great stamina and is tenacious in attack with a good cross, and is one of the reasons I’d take Kim to combat his running.

My Prediction
Tochigi 0 – 1 Avispa
A tough game without their top scorer, but I have to be optimistic that they can grind out a result having been disappointed with results for the last month.

Posted May 6, 2012 by avispafukuoka in Preview