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.