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.