vs. Giravanz Kitakyushu (report)   5 comments

Giravanz Kitakyushu 3 : 5 Avispa Fukuoka

Before the match I had predicted a tight game which might end up goalless, or could be decided by a single goal by either team. I got that totally wrong as the teams shard 8 goals, with 7 different scorers to keep the big away support entertained on a rainy evening in north Kyushu.

One thing I did get right was that there would be an Avispa win, but this had looked very unlikely at half-time as the team went in 2-0 down having never really looked in the game.

Kitakyushu play a very simple strategy, but play it quite well. They have large numbers behind the ball; at times they had 2 full banks of 4 in and around their own penalty box, and try to absorb attacks and release their attackers quickly with direct balls forward.
Avispa had a couple of warning shots as Kitakyushu forwards were caught narrowly off-side a couple of times, but didn’t stay close enough together as a unit and allowed a first goal to be conceded.
Playing with 3 back there really wasn’t any excuse to leave the space between Lee and Mishima, space which was compounded by both Koga and Tsutsumi being in elevated positions with little pace to get back and Giravanz’s #11 had a free run on goal and took his chance well.

Kitakyushu sat back and defnded in numbers trying to get another 1-0 win which has been a common socre for them this season, but were then gifted another goal by Kamiyama.
Coming out to clear a ball which was already being covered by a defender he sliced his clearance into the middle where a Kitakyushu midfielder hit his clearance first time and nestled the ball just inside the post.

It looked like the wheels had come off the Avispa play-off bus with a second defeat in a row, but Pusnik changed things up for the second half and we immediately looked much better.

Earlier in the season I had said I wanted to see us play with 4 at the back and Park just in front of the back 4 to allow us to slip into a 3 if the full-backs pushed forwards.
(My post on this in April…. Back-4 with anchor).
Playing a back 3 has been successful at times this season, but in both the Yokohama game, and very obviously again tonight we changed to a back 4 and looked better.

We had pulled 1 goal back within 2 minutes as a set-piece from outside the box was slid square to Tsutsumi who hit a very good low shot through a crowd and inside the left post. This long shot from Tsutsumi was clearly something which had been recognised as an area we might do well from as Tsutsumi had already taken 2 long shots in the first half having never really done that ever before.
It worked here and is very nice to see that someone at the club has recognised this opportunity, and Tsutsumi said after the game that he had been practicing his shooting in training this week.

Avispa didn’t sit back and had equalised within 10 minutes with a very well worked goal from open play.
A move started by Kanamori looking like his energetic best winning the ball back and dribbling at goal before passing to Hirai, saw him then pass onto Jogo who spread the ball wide, continued his run into the box and headed home a very good lofted cross from Sakai.
Someone close to Jogo needs to tell him that this is where he should be playing. As a striker he hasn’t really scored or played very well this season. Coming from deeper in midfield or even right back he has scored more goals than he has as a striker this season.

2:2 after a poor first half was a result I would have taken, but Kanamori put us into the lead within 2 minutes. I am not the biggest fan of Sakai at times, his touch can be poor and as his shooting in the first half showed he can lean back too far and sky shots he should be getting on target, but he was key to this goal again.
Causing problems with his aerial threat on the edge of the box the ball bounced down for Kanamori who hit an early shot unstoppably just inside the post. It was a very good send off just before he goes away with the U21 team.

Full of confidence and finally hitting the weakened Kitakyushu central defence Avispa scored 2 more.
The next was from a set piece which Takeda hit to the back post where Kwang Seon had told him he would be waiting to head back across goal. Flicked on by Tsutsumi, panic caused by a defender’s bicycle kick from Park the ball ended up at the back post where Sakati got the goal his performance deserved. It was quite lucky that he reached the ball first as Jogo was waiting to score but would have been called off-side had he done so.

With Punosevac gone, Ishizu gone, and now Kanamori leaving for a month it is important for some squad strikers to now step up. Our 5th goal was good in that it involved both Morimura and Hirai.
Morimura found Kanamori with a good slide pass into the box and Kanamori took the ball on and passed intelligently to Hirai in the middle who displayed a good finish to get a goal he really needs.

Kazuki then stole the show from everyone by making the highlight of the whole game as he came on for a cramping Kwang Seon. After first running towards the pitch in just his vest he managed to put his shirt on backwards in his rush to get on the pitch.

Giravanz pulled one goal back with a late goal but it didn’t really matter.


Posted September 6, 2014 by avispafukuoka in Uncategorized

5 responses to “vs. Giravanz Kitakyushu (report)

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  1. What drama! This is what derbys are all about. Congratulations on the win!

  2. This was such a great game. It’s nice to have the derby atmosphere without the bad will that always permeated Sagan-Avispa matches.

    I finally saw what you are always stating about Kamiyama- he had some really poor distribution yesterday and I don’t want to talk about the crosses. But for me the most frustrating thing is that it felt in the first half that no one was looking back, even after the first goal, and the defensemen were nowhere to be found. They corrected that in the second half just by pressing forward so they didn’t need to look back.

    The announcer was heaping praise on Tsutsumi after his goal, saying this was one of the season’s best, but 4 right after in quick succession means I think it will be forgotten. I hope not, and the team uses him a lot more in this situation.

    I think that after Kamiyama got his 3rd yellow card of the season and didn’t calm down, there must have been a lot of handwringing in the Avispa office. They have based their advertising for the Mito game around him (very cute slogan actually) and I think it would have been extra rough if he’d had the game suspension. I think he will get that 4th yellow sometime this season, but I don’t know if either Shimizu or Eita are in a position to replace him yet.

  3. It was definitely a good derby match. I hope Kitakyushu can stay in the play-offs but you have a few hard games coming up now.

    I’m sure no-one was happier with the 5 second half goals than Kamiyama, it was a horrible mistake for the second.

    His yellow card in this game was ridiculous. We were 3 goals up with 10 minutes to play and he didn’t really even take that long.
    Hopefully he’ll last til the end of the season without another card, but you’d have to hope that Shimizu could step up if need be. He came in with a bit of a reputation having been Oita’s keeper when they got promotion and must be earning a bit of money.

  4. Steady on Avispa! Many more wins like that and we will have to start talking about you being play-off contenders!!

    Congrats on the win. Slightly ironic that it came when you hitherto best player Kamiyama had a bit of a nightmare. Still, glad Jogo & Kanamori bailed him out – he deserved it.

    • We’ve got what looks like a fairly favorable run-in too. Only JEF, Matsumoto and Oita next week are the other clubs in the top half of the table.

      Althought having said that it is the clubs in the bottom third which we seem to have had trouble with this season.

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