Avispa 1 : 1 Tochigi
Another tiresome performance from Avispa, but one which did show the fine line between a good seasonand a bad season in J2.
The reality was that the difference between these teams was not huge, but the league table shows that while Avispa are struggling near the bottom of the table Tochigi are battling to get a play-off position.
It was a similar story in the last home game against Yokohama FC. That being said Avispa should be well ahead of both Yokohama and Tochigi on the squad they have, but with only 3500 people coming to watch the game maybe that won’t be the case for long.
The first half was a really boring start, with Maeda only playing a single changed player from previous weeks with Ishizu getting a deserved start.
Tochigi were not threatening at all, but were then gifted a penalty by the referee who spotted Sueyoshi pulling on someone’s shirt at a corner.
It was the only way Tochigi were going to score from a corner, apart from their #4 they have the smallest team I’ve seen this season. The penalty was easily converted to give them the lead with what was probably the first shot of the match.
Avispa were anaemic and boring in attack, and Tochigi looked like they would be happy taking a 1-0 win back home and sat back to defend their penalty goal.
Their defensive mentality proved to be a mistake when Avispa scored an equaliser with a deflected shot from outside the area.
Inevitably it came from Ishizu, the only Avispa player who really loooked like he had something to play for; and in reality he probably was the only player who had any reason to try and impress.
Samir and Osmar came on and both looked like improvements on what had been seen earlier, but overall it was a meaningless game and the players looked like they are just waiting for the season to finish.