V-Varen Nagasaki 0 : 0 Avispa Fukuoka
I’d tried to stay optimistic in my preview that we might see a goal, but it was always a strong possibility that this goal would end goal-less as 2 teams who despite being in the top half of the table have scored fewer goals this season than near neighbors Giravanz and Roasso who currently find themselves in 18th and 19th place.
There were definitely chances, but nearly all of these came from set pieces as Nagasaki looked to continually win free-kicks in the left wing position and send crosses in which were invariably headed over.
At times when Avispa managed to get forward their low crosses were generally blocked with attacks from the resulting corners being even less effective than usual as Nagasaki defenders were allowed to grab hold of the shirt of the nearest attacker and stop them from making any genuine strike on goal.
Kamiyama was probably the best player for Avispa, and did make a couple of goal-saving stops, most notable in the first half when a horrible mistake from Koga should have resulted in a goal but the Nagasaki striker showed a lack of composure and snatched his shot straight at Kamiyama.
I understand what Pusnik is trying to achieve by this strategy of playing the ball to the defenders to then try and create space to make quick passing attacks, but at present it isn’t really working. What is happening is that the ball gets passed from left to right for 1-2 minutes with the opposition attackers getting closer and closer to making an interception before somebody, has to rush a clearance which is often won by the opposition who have attackers right on the defenders shoulder ready to launch an attack of their own.
Jogo have the best chance for Avispa after being played through 1-on-1 on goal, but as is often the case with him when he had enough time to think about what he was going to do next he ended up getting caught a little in 2 minds about whether to blast it or place it and ended up doing a little of both; lifting it and blasting.
Either team could have snatched the points at the end, and Avispa did clear a shot off the line with 15 minutes left to play, but it was a game where both defences quite easily coped with the opposition attack.
Results elsewhere were quite good for us and leave us 1 win away from a play-off place still with a few winnable games coming up in July.
My Man of the Match – Ryuichi Kamiyama
Has done well since coming in after Mizutani’s injury. Is always still capable of a bad mistake any time, but is excellent at making himself big and got us our point today.