Archive for April 5, 2015

vs. Mito Hollyhock (report)   Leave a comment

Avispa Fukuoka 1 : 0 Mito Hollyhock

So 7 points in the last 3 games, which had it not been for a 95th minutes equaliser could be 9 points in 3 games. Is it crisis over for Avispa, with a run for the play-offs and promotion back on course?

While I am very happy to be picking up these points it was again a fairly dire game for anyone watching the match, and one which looked destined to end 0:0 with a Mito team set-up to not lose and an Avispa attack which is based upon close to zero midfield.

Sueyoshi and Suzuki Jun are doing a little better than I expected, but the area which they seem to be quite competent is in an area about 10m outside the opposition penalty box where they are actually quite good at switching play from side to side or in taking long shots at goal. The problem being about how to get the ball to that position with no midfield behind them.

The first real opportunity of the game when the ball did come out to Sueyoshi on the edge of the box and he found himself in enough space to try and curl a shot into the far corner of the goal, but saw his shot well-saved by Mito’s veteran keeper.
It would have been a very similar goal to the one which Sueyoshi scored against Mito in 2010, and we went on to win that match 5:0. As nice as it is to get a win today with the money which has now been invested into the club this season that is the sort of scoreline we should be aiming for against clubs with much lower resources than ourselves like Mito.

Mito never looked like scoring, but then neither did we apart from that chance. The game was intensely dull to watch, with a succession of free-kicks and corners being sent into both boxes aimlessly and generally being headed away by the tall defenders from each team.
I saw that the local english events magazine was advertising this game as a fun day out for visitrs to the city. If anyone had turned up today for their first taste of J2 action then they won’t be coming back again. Both teams were playing at about the level of an English League 2 team (4th tier), with no likely chance of scoring apart from making a set piece work.

Then in the second half Avispa put together a nice move which saw us take the lead through an unexpected scorer. Good combination play down the right saw Jogo pass the ball back for Nakahara to cross into the box. Now this would usually represent a problem for Avispa because with Jogo and Nakahara both in the left-back position (where was Hokuto?) it meant we often have no-one to collect crosses in the box.
For this cross there was the unexpected sight of midget chipmunk Suzuki Jun leaping like a salmon and powering a header through the keeper and into the goal; he even managed to power past Sakai to get to the ball first.
I have been quite harsh on Suauki Jun, but this was eaxctly the sort of late run into the box which we have needed from midfielders for a long time, and the sort of run which will be made more possible if he has someone playing behind him and Sueyoshi to give the freedom to break.
He had a quite astonished look on his face at the goal he had just scored, I’m not sure if I have ever seen him head a ball before, let alone meet one at pace and power it at goal.

With more space opened up Avispa had 2 good chances to double their lead but saw both chances smashed about 5m over the bar from about the penalty spot.
The first came to Jogo after he had dummied to collect a return ball from Nakahara doing some good hold-up play, but missed a shot he’ll be embarrassed to watch later.
The second was a little harder, but similar in style as Sakai hit a shot too hard from inside the box which probably landed somewhere near the airport.

Mito should have shared the points late on as they pushed forward for an equaliser. Kamiyama showed his poor run of form is still ongoing as he ran out to get a ball which he was never going to get close to. It was nice to see him leave his line for the first time this season, just unfortunate he did it at exactly the wrong time. Fortunately he got a hand to the shot as he back-tracked back to goal.
Then the Mito #7 was guilty of missing an open header from about 3m out after a cross from the right went straight along the 6 yard box and the points were safe for Avispa.

Posted April 5, 2015 by avispafukuoka in Uncategorized

vs. Yokohama FC (report / youtube)   2 comments

Yokohama FC 2 : 2 Avispa Fukuoka

With Yokohama having an OK start to the season, and Avispa being awful this will probably appear to be a half-decent result on a rainy day in Kanto.
Those who watched the match will know it is another poor result when put into context of what happened on the pitch.

The team was unsurprisingly little changed from the win against Kumamoto with Sakai being brought in for Sakata, and Mishima coming in for Hokuto the only changes. I would assume that this is due to tiredness rather than anything on the  pitch. Sakata dropped to the bench where he was joined by Kanemori who looks like he might be close to a return from his injury.

Avispa started quite brightly, but have a midfield which is very quickly going to get a reputation for trying to cheat the referee, with Suzuki Jun in particular trying to get a free-kick anyone comes near him and tries to tackle him. It suits his game as he doesn’t have the physical attributes to out pace or out-muscle anyone in the league and knows that his game is almost entirely based around delivery from free-kicks.
It worked early in this game after picking up a soft free-kick inside the Yokohama half and curling in a decent high ball knowing that Avispa now have some height to attack these balls. Nakahara did very well to lean back and get his head on the ball, and Lee Kwang Seon did even better to control the ball, turn and shoot at goal.
His shot wasn’t hit well, but as can happen when you just get shots on target it took a kind deflection which popped up for Sakai to reach a leg out and get a goal-poacher’s goal.

This is exactly the role which Sakai should be looking to grow into . Pusnik put him at the top of the formation and he got goals, he got another similar one today. He cannot ever play in midfield, however much his advisors and fans tell him that he can, he could be quite good as a combative striker who forces himself into scoring scrappy goals just like this.

We were the better team and doubled our lead 10 minutes later with a very dodgy penalty. Having been given a soft free-kick for the first goal the referee then blew for a foul against Yokohama’s Korean defender. I’m not sure what it was for, but Avispa had so many fouls and penalties awarded against Lee Kwang Seon last season for being tall and Korean I guess that this might be an official rule in J-League now.
There was contact between defender and Nakahara, and he got his body between player and ball to let the keeper come and collect it, but I really can’t see that it should be a penalty. Nakahara converted the penalty by absolutely smashing it; if he can guarantee a connection when he hits a ball like that he’ll score a lot of goals this season, but it looked a bit of a risky penalty taking strategy to me.

We had a 2:0 lead at half-time, and in the pouring rain that should have been game over. Unfortunately it then became the Kamiyma show.

I’m starting to wonder if I am missing something here, much like I don’t really understand why Jogo is so adored, Kamiyama is just awful. Please watch the highlights below and tell me what I don’t understand about this new style of goal-keeping and that there is some method to this madness.
You will see from all the clips from the 2nd half that Kamiyama is standing on his goal-line, right in the middle of goal as if he is about to face a penalty, as balls are coming into the box, crosses, shots, anything. If it was accepted that he is one of the worst goal-keepers in the league I’d get it, but people talk about him as being one of the best and now we don’t have any realistic back-up options. Is he injured? What is going on?

We conceded 2 goals, 1 of which was in the 95th minute, they had 4-5 other chances, Kamiyama never moved for anything. I can’t be bothered to write much more than that about it.

Eita has to play again in the next match, regardless of his mistake against Sapporo.

Posted April 5, 2015 by avispafukuoka in Uncategorized