Kamatamare Sanuki 1 : 1 Avispa Fukuoka
I couldn’t think of a worse half of football than last weekend when Avispa lost the first half 5:0 at home, but guess that in the history of the J-League there might be a worse half.
This weekend Avispa definitely wrote themselves into the record books by being the first club in the J-League who couldn’t beat Kamatamare Sanuki who picked up their first J-League point after 7 consecutive defeats.
No-one could argue that Kamatamare didn’t deserve it after a second half where they were by far the better team, and came close to scoring a couple of times before eventually getting an equaliser in the 85th minute.
The only positive for Avispa was that it came with only 5 minutes left to play. If they had scord 10 minutes earlier they could have gone on to win the game as Avispa looked dead on their feet.
The game had started brightly for AVispa with a much better set-up with Takeda back in the starting XI as a midfield anchor, where his constant running lead to interceptions and turnovers for Avispa and allowed Nakahara to play higher up the pitch.
We should have taken the lead after 10 minutes as Abe went free down the left and put a good cross along the 6 yard box which Hirai missed and Sakata smashed against the post.
Hirai then had another chance as he ran onto a long ball played over the top but hit his shot straight at the keeper, but Avispa didn’t have to wait long for their goal.
When the goal came it showed the advantages of the players on the pitch as Takeda got control of the ball in front of the back four and played a simple ball up to Nakahara in the opposition half. Nakahara is good when he has simple passes to play (less so when needing to pass long) and slipped a ball through for Jogo to run onto in a right wing position.
That is the position from where he scored so many goals in 2012 and he rifled a shot past the keeper at the near post. In reality it was possibly a poor decision as most keepers would hop eto save a shot from that angle, but it showed the importance of getting shots in at goal as anything can happen.
At that stage I was hoping that Avispa could go on to score 3 or 4 to improve spirits and help forget about last week but they inexplicably totally stopped playing.
I can remember only 1 game in the last couple of seasons which we have won by more than 1 goal and don’t really know why the players don’t press on as Nagasaki did last week and push hard to make their advantage count after scoring a first goal.
Morimura had been brought in to try and give us a midfield and din’t really do very much before being substituted for Ishizu in the second half with a switch to a more obvious 4231.
I have no idea if the training this week has been very hard or something, but after 65 minutes the players seemed totally incapable of running and devoid of any energy.
It wasn’t a good sign at all as we have a bunch of games in a short amount of time coming up over Golden Week, and the weather is about to start getting very hot. If they are tired now at the start of this run of games then they have no hope in 2 months.
Tiredness couldn’t explain the lethargy shown by Ishizu who only played 30 minutes but didn’t really get involved in the game at all.
As Sanuki were allowed to gain in confidence they had a shot hit on the turn in the penalty box saved very well by a diving Shimizu, and then directed a header close to the keeper from a corner which only needed to be 20cm further from him and he wouldn’t have saved it.
The equaliser was clearly coming, and arrived as a forward picked up the ball in the left wing position, got past Jogo easily and burst into the box to avoid any challenge from Nakahara or Mishima and curl a shot inside the far post.
It was no more than what Sanuki deserved and Avispa missed a chance to finish the day in the play-off places.
There is a problem at the club when they can turn up and beat teams like Kyoto and Yokohama and get a high scoring draw with Jubilo, but then totally fail to perform in matches against Kumamoto, Ehime and Sanuki.