I was wondering how Pusnik would approach this game.
Personally I’d like to let the first team players get the chance to test themselves against J1 opposition and hopefully learn something, and I also believe that winning can become a habit, but the Emperor’s Cup is set up as possibly the wrost Cup competition in world football.
Cup competitions around the world are suffering as teams take league position as more important, but in Japan we have a cup where J1 clubs are guaranteed to play at home every round meaning the chance for a lower league club to get a result is very small.
Even if they do manage a giant killing their only reward is another expensive away trip to another J1 club at home in the next round.
Ginat killings do happen becsue the J1 clubs almost always play an under-strength side, so even if you do get to play a top team you won’t be watching any of the better players. It’s a total farce.
In 6 years of watching AVispa I have only seen 1 home cup game, and that includes the year we got to the semi-final but didn’t play a home game during the entire competition.
With that in mind I wasn’t too surprised when Pusnik named a clearly 2nd string side to play away to Mito.
It was a chance for the squad players to prove they were worth a contract, and demand to get into the first team. After a 2-0 defeat I guess it is clear that none of them make the grade, and will probably be looking for a new club in December.
The other problem with the Emperor’s Cup is that it is very difficult to keep track of what is happening because apart from Urawa vs Somebody, and Gambe vs. Somebody they don’t show any games on TV.
Thankfully the internet has improved in recent years so I know that the team was something like:
With Chris seeming to have been particularly bad as he was substituted for Oh Chang Hyon at half-time, with Nozaki presumably moving to midfield.
Kanemori and Sakai also came on late showing that there was at least some inclination to try and take the game to penalties, but basically after failing to get a result to a below strength Mito team none of the players in this game should be thinking they are in competition with Messi for Golden Ball at the next World Cup.
First goal for Mito comes from the simplest corner you could imagine. Known target man Suzuki comes to the near post for a free header. Don’t know who his tracker was, but whoever it is should be embarrassed.
Second goal was late on.
Check out the amount of space given to Mito to pass the ball around on the dge of the box for this one.
Kihara is in Cambodia, Funeyama is playing for the Army in Thailand, Miyamoto is a PE teacher in Osaka; who is next?