Giravanz Kitakyushu 4 – 2 Avispa Fukuoka
I wouldn’t have thought that things could get much worse than they have been this season, but this game represented what is probably the lowest point in the history of Avispa Fukuoka football club. We have certainly never been lower in the J-League table than what we are this season, and have now been comprehensively beaten by a team who have never previously scored a goal against us.
Before today the Fukuoka derby was never really taken seriously as Giravanz were looked as like a younger brother who was never really going to offer much competition, yesterday they showed they have overtaken us.
The game started with Okada coming in for Sueyoshi, and the team remaining otherwise unchanged despite the team sheet saying that Osmar was going to play.
Avispa looked slightly the better team in possession of the ball, but gifted a goal away within 10 minutes as an aimless spinning ball was chased by a Giravanz striker and after Kamiyama left his goal to only be beaten by the bounce and the striker, the ball was pulled back for it to be slotted into a goal with no keeper.
If Kamiyama gifted the first goal it was the referee who played a part in gifting the second. A corner with no attacking threat (as with all corners from Avispa this season) was cleared out of the box where Koga made a mess of things trying to win a foul under the fear of being done for pace while out of position.
In the ensuing tangle of legs he had his knee stood on and rather wait for him to get treatment the referee allowed Giravanz to take the free-kick quickly where they could cross and head in against an Avispa defence with no centre-backs. It was a fairly class-less goal by everyone involved but in a local derby game you have to expect teams to do everything they can at times.
Losing 2-0 is pretty much game over for Avispa. They rely on teams to open up and give space for their short passing and overly complicated bullshit; with a 2 goal cushion Kitakyushu could sit back and crowd the game.
Mid-way through the half Kobara went off injured after repeating the crazy tactic of switching position with Minje for a goal-kick. Knowing that he had to head the ball or be caught out of position he over stretched for a ball and ended up smashing his nose on the back of a midfielders head. He went off injured and was replaced by kazuki returning from his ACL injury.
This switch in positions has to stop. Minje is small, but doesn’t do badly when going for headers; and even if he does miss out it is in the left-back position and shouldn’t be a huge problem. What is a huge problem is the defence being totally screwed by people trying to switch positions and being left with no centre-back. Kobara can’t even do the job of a centre-back, why is he trying to be a left-back and volante as well?
We did get a goal back before halftime and inevitably it was from Jogo. A ball from the left was played by Sakata without ever getting a decent shot on goal, but fortunately reached Jogo towards the back of the box. He smashed a bullet shot into the angle of bar and post and after the goal stopped rattling it turned out the ball had actually gone into the net.
At 2-1 at half-time it seemed like Avispa could carry momentum into the 2nd half and go on to win, but they kept playing their ineffective patient game with their only plan seeming to be for Suzuki Jun to try and play a chipped ball straight over the middle which never worked but is probably something he saw on TV some time.
With nothing really happening Maeda switched Nishida for Osmar and he immediately made a difference. Running at defenders, using the corners and generally looking like he wanted to win he must wonder why he isn’t starting.
He could have easily got us a couple of goals but after twice getting into 1-on-1 positions through hassling defenders and running at goal he seemed to snatch a little bit at his shots and have them both blocked by the keeper. He was pissed off to not score, but will do soon if he keeps doing what he is.
As Avispa looked like they could get an equaliser Giravanz scored again with a shot from distance on the break which beat Kamiyama just inside the post. Very similar to the 2nd from Shonan, kamiyama is spoiling what was a good start to the season by him.
Avispa carried on playing as the fans kept chanting, and Suzuki Jun scored another goal direct from a corner. I don’t even consider corners as attacking possibilities for Avispa any more and getting Suzuki Jun to shoot direct from them seems as good as anything else they have tried this season.
As Suzuki Jun motioned for the crowd to be lifted they then allowed Giranvanz to score nearly straight away.
A counter attack led to a speculative shot from well out side the area which Kamiyama seemed to turn and watch go into the goal as if doing some unorthodox warm-up routine.
The fans booed like hell, Maeda wouldn’t come over again and I felt sorry for the players to have to take the abuse when they are trying, but are being totally handicapped by a formation and playing style which is woefully inadequate.