Avispa Fukuoka 2 – 3 Ventforet Kofu
So Ventforet turned up and got the win they needed to be crowned Champions. It may not have been as easy as they, and many others, may have expected, but they got the win.
There were many positives about the Avispa team today, and lots of the same old negatives, but I hope the team looked at the fans and opposition celebrating at the end of the game and realise that it should be what they are doing, and to correct the mistakes from this season so they can be there in 2013.
The biggest positive was the inclusion of Ishizu. He was our best player again, and it is crazy he has only had 2-3 starts this season. As someone who is willing to run with the ball, and shoot without concern he makes space for everyone else and causes the opposition defence to play with a little more fear.
He isn’t the finished product, his first touch is fairly terrible at the moment, and he can try to do a little too much at times but he is someone who can be proud of what he has achieved this season. I just wonder how many of the other young players could have had a similar season if given the chance.
He nearly opened the scoring after 15 minutes after dribbling through a couple of players and then feinting to shoot and going past 2 more in the box. Unfortunately he seemed to want to get back onto his left foot and gave the defence time to get back and block.
Going forward Kofu looked like they could always score, with Davy being a real class act. I’d previously seen him score a lot of headers, but was most impressed with his quick feet in build-up play today.
Alongside his Fernandinho was busy, managing to play and referee the game at the same time. I’m always a little embarrassed when I see Suzuki Jun diving and waving yellow cards at people, and hope it isn’t something which becomes more prevalent in Japanese football.
Ventforet took the lead, and fairly inevitable it came from a corner. Crossed to the back post Ventforet didn’t need a target man of their own as Kazuki headed the ball into the ground and back across goal for someone to shoot from about 5m out. Kawata made a great block, but was unfortunate the ball came out to Davy who didn’t need much of an invitation to score his 31st goal of the season.
Avispa didn’t really deserve to be behind, but are so badly equipped in defence that it is hard to not be behind in games.
The team continued to attack with an equaliser coming from a smart move and classy finish. A ball played through the middle towards Sakata was cleverly dummied and slid through to Osmar running into the box.
Under pressure from their right-back and being closed down by the keeper he dinked a finish over the keeper. I’m glad to see a finish like that as he has snatched at chances with his feet previously, but clearly has talent. Unfortunately I don’t think he will be with us next season as a return to Brazil is rumoured.
We couldn’t hold onto the draw for long as again the defence totally crumbled. It may be looked back on as a great Kofu goal with about 8 short triangular passes to bring the ball from the right wing position to Davy inside the box (and it was nicely done by a team in confidence) but the reality was that Avispa players had about 5 chances to put a strong tackle in and stop it. Davy got his 32nd goal of the season and should now be looking to try and beat the 37 that Hulk got for Verdy.
Genki had a start for Ventforet on the left, and was predictably being booed with every touch, but got his revenge with the best goal of the game at the end of the 2nd half.
The ball was played out to the right wing again where Ventforet’s full-back played a cross to the near side of the box where Genki has come across from the left wing. Hitting a first time shot across goal, Kawata had no chance and it looked like Kofu fans could start celebrating.
Into the second half Kofu switched down a gear and nearly gave Avispa a chance to spoil their party.
A double substitution saw Jogo and Yutaka brought on for Sakata and Naruoka. Naruoka went straight down the tunnel and I can’t see him playing for us next season. He has some amazing talent, but in 2 years here it hasn’t really worked out for him. I think he needs to be surrounded by better players. Sakata, I hope does stay. He won’t be happy with his 2nd half of the season but has still worked hard and just needs his luck to change.
Soon after coming on Avispa got what turned out to be a goal which did nothing but make the score look a little better. Kofu failed to clear a corner well and hit back through the box someone had the ball bounce off them and go into the net.
It may have even been an own goal, and was eaxctly the sort of scrappy goal you need to win games at times, and exactly the sort of goal Avispa hasn’t scored until now this season.
A game with a better performance, but which will only really mean something if the positives are built on so our players and fans can be the ones celebrating in 12 months time.