Tuesday 27 November 2018

Vs FC Tokyo (away) 24/11/18 - J League match 33

FC Tokyo 0 - 2 Kawasaki Frontale 


Sorry this post is so late. And also sorry it’s brief. Although that might come as a blessing to some of you! With the pressure off us after we sealed the title with a dreary performance in Osaka, I guess we’ve all relaxed a little. It seems that my blogging has reflected this. Although of course that’s not to say that I’m not interested in our final two games. I’m hoping that we can win by as big a margin as possible and also have got this thing in my head, about us scoring the most goals and conceding the least. We’re still on track for this and a decent result in our last game could seal it. It would feel a bit tough on Jubilo though, who have done us some big favours in both this year’s and last year’s title races and who could still go down. This game offered something extra, with it being a tense local derby in which we haven’t done so well recently (at least in the league). Before the game FC Tokyo’s Takahagi was quoted as saying he’d never lost a Tamagawa Classico since he joined FC Tokyo. Well, you have now, and to be honest, they couldn’t really have too many complaints about it. They had plenty of chances, but seemed unable to hit the target. Whilst Sanfrecce’s collapse is of course the most notable one this season, FC Tokyo fans will be relieved that it has put their own slide into mediocrity into the shade. I’m sure they were as surprised as most were when they were putting result after result together earlier in the season. But it’s got to be a disappointing finish to the season for them. And whilst they avoided having us win the title at their ground, they still did have to do their end of season final home game presentations with a backdrop of a jubilant Frontale who’d just taken three points from them. I was actually surprised that we didn’t make more of the fact that we’d won the title during this game. I know it’s undignified to gloat, but this was a local derby and I thought we would have at least reminded them on a few occasions of what we'd achieved. Guess we’re even nicer than I thought! 

To round up the other few thoughts I had about the game, I’ll start with a good moan about the ref. Iemoto is notoriously a good referee for us. I interpret this as meaning that he knows what he’s doing. I suspect that our rivals might have other explanations though. Perhaps unwisely, a section of the fans cheered his announcement as the ref for the game. I imagine that if we are aware, he is also aware of this talk of him being pro-Frontale, and the cheering before the game, along with him probably wanting to show that he is neutral and protect his reputation resulted in what I thought was a pretty pro-FC Tokyo performance from him. Some of his decisions were baffling. But as tedious as it must be for people to read me moaning about refs when we lose, it must be worse for them for me to do it when we win, so I’ll leave it at that. This wasn’t a vintage performance from us, but we did enough I think. Ao starting came as a bit of a shock and he had a shaky start to the game, but managed to get through it and did a reasonably good job I thought. Chinen had another solid if unspectacular game up front, being preferred to Abe. The finish for his goal was decent, even if we were gifted the ball. Our pressing on the FC Tokyo player in possession though clearly contributed to the error, so I’m going to claim it as good play by us, rather than a complete stinker from them. It was good to see Hasegawa get on the scoresheet again. He had a relatively quiet game. I wish he could have a go up front again, as that’s where he was playing when he broke through for us. His emotional goal celebration seemed to suggest the he might possibly be moving on at the end of the season, (and to be honest, I wouldn’t blame him, but equally would love to see him stay), as I feel it’s been a stop-start season for him. Apparently though it might be something to do with the game’s proximity to the anniversary of him losing his mother. In any case, I think he must understand what we think of him from the reaction of the fans. I’ll do a few end of season posts soon rounding up what I think of various people’s contributions this season and what the future might hold for them soon, so I’ll save any more discussion of that nature for then. But for now, I’ll finish up by saying that this was a decent win with a decent enough performance in a dead rubber that was enlivened by it being a derby. I’m glad that we could come into this game with so little pressure as I expect it might have been a bit different if we were still trying to win the league.

Next up, the final game of the season, home against Jubilo Iwata. It will be our first home game since winning the title and it’s sold out I think, so I expect there may be a decent atmosphere. After that, we can relax, enjoy being champions and start worrying about the awful ACL group we have for next season. Hopefully we can score more than Yokohama do and concede less than FC Tokyo and therefore sew up what I from now on will refer to as ‘THE SUPER TITLE’. Bravo Frontale!


GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG
DF 3. NARA Tatsuki
DF 7 KURUMAYA Shintaro (Yellow card 58')
MF 25. MORITA Hidemasa
MF 41. IENAGA Akihiro
MF 16. HASEGAWA Tatsuya

GK 30. ARAI Shota
MF 2. NOBORIZATO Kyohei (on for HASEGAWA 67')
FW 8. ABE Hiroyuki (on for NAKAMURA 77')
MF 22. SHIMODA Hokuto
MF 27. SUZUKI Yuto (on for CHINEN 82')
MF 37. SAITO Manabu

My Frontale Man Of The Match

This wasn’t the most scintillating of performances. Definitely more solid than spectacular. People are going to think I’m biased again but I don’t care. It’s again going to…

NARA Tatsuki - Another great performance. Solid at the back and made some crucial tackles. There was also the amusing scene of Ienaga shoving him away from the ref after Iemoto gave another rotten decision.


CHINEN (Frontale) 19' 0-1
HASEGAWA (Frontale) 50' 0-2


The Frontale youtube channel usually has longer highlights provided by DAZN, but given that a previous year's highlights got wiped when the broadcaster got changed, I'm going to stick with the official J League ones. But you can watch the longer highlights here if you want.


No comments:

Post a Comment