Avispa Fukuoka 1 : 1 Thespa Kusatsu
Well we didn’t lose, but it didn’t feel much better having taken an 86th minute equaliser from the returning Sakata to snatch what was an undeserved point.
It was a match which did see some changes to the formation and personel, and we did look a bit better for large parts of the game, while still not really managing to get 3 passes together, or any passes into the final third which did anything other than go direct to the keeper/goal kick.
Kanamori looked more up for the game, but was trying to do too much. He had what could and should have been goal of the season after 10 minutes, but after managing to do most of this from the left wing he then passed his shot just to the left of the post rather than into the corner…
Thespa were looking their most threatening from corner kicks; Avispa corner kicks. They broke quickly from times when Avispa were attacking and as with other clubs recently when we don’t have the creativity in midfield or skill in attack to break down deep defences we can get caught with sucker punches.
It still needed some terrible defending as Abe allowed a cross to be put in, Mishima got caught wrong side of the incoming Kobayashi and Kamiyama watched in slow motion as Lee Kwang Seon managed to do this…
The first half ended with Avispa trailing and only 3 shots in the whole half as both teams just passed the ball to the opposition.
Avispa looked better in the second half, but still never really put together any attacking moves which looked like they could test the Thespa defence.
Pusnik threw on more and more attacking players, with Sakata coming back to make a very welcome return. He ended up showing what we have missed in the last 6 weeks by getting the equalising goal. Strikers win matches and with Ishizu gone we gave away our chance of getting to the play-offs, I’ve been missing Punosevac too, against these lower level teams he could have been the difference with his height. Sometimes when going through a bad spell the team just needs to scrape a win from somewhere, having a big guy to aim for isn’t the prettiest thing in the world but it might be exactly what we needed this last month.
People bemoan the loss of Ishizu, Sakata and Kanamori at the end of August, but you could add Punosevac to that in August. You couldn’t take 4 strikers out of any club in the division and expect them to keep results.
Predictably our equaliser came from a corner; where would we be if there hadn’t been our improvement from corners this season.
Park continued his decent work at the near post with a Zlatan-esque back-heel volley across goal where Sakata managed to get the smallest of touches on the ball with an overhead kick to score with 4 minutes to play.
It was a little like this (but about 4cm out from the goal-line)…
The best thing about this match was that it was just so bad. I have seen some comments on places like 2ch where people are wondering who to blame for this run of form.
When you have players passing straight to the opposition, or back-heeling own-goals and passing free-kicks straight for throw-ins then you know it is down to the players.
No formation, No tactics, No level of support from the fans, No sponsors, and no wages can work for anything if you have players who when the referee blows his whistle to start a match on Sunday start making pub league level mistakes like these players did today.