Consadole Sapporo 1 - 6 Kawasaki Frontale
Wow! Another great result and definitely a great reaction to what was perhaps a little bit of a disappointing game on Wednesday. Once again Consadole have received a bit of a pasting from us and I feel a bit sorry for them. Not so sorry for Arano though because of him telling Kengo to die in the Levain Cup Final last year. Seems that he’s a bit of a changed man though as he went through most of this game with a smile on his face in spite of the shower of goals. And he has said today about this game that individually Consadole were better than Frontale which when you're on the end of a 6-1 pasting is quite a claim. So maybe he has changed into an optimist in every possible situation. Right from the start this was a pretty open game as you’d expect from the styles of the two teams involved. I don’t think anyone would have expected it to be quite so open in the second half though. Although after the subs made by both teams at half time there was a comment from J Soccer Magazine on twitter that said he thought the game was lost for Consadole. He was proved right, as once again Mitoma came on and grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. However the introduction of many Twitter users' pantomime villain Jay Bothroyd for Consadole at least gave them their consolation goal. But it was definitely only a consolation, and perhaps not much of a consolation as I doubt scoring once makes anyone, apart perhaps for the goalscorer, feel any better about their team conceding six times. As I once again was only able to watch this game on DAZN, I’m not going to comment too much about details. I find it quite difficult to watch games remotely and I realize how lucky I am that I can normally go to the stadium. Also, I don’t know if it was just our connection but there was definitely some added jerkiness to the pictures in this match with the action slowing down and speeding up quite often and at random times, and it was making me feel like I had accidentally inhaled some psychoactive substance whilst either cleaning the house or shopping that morning. So perhaps people more used to watching online who weren’t having these kind of potential hallucinations can comment better than I can on this match. In any case, I’ll just mention a few points and we can move on to a pretty challenging game on Wednesday at home against Cerezo.
I was delighted before the match that Oniki is really rotating the team now. Of course Oshima couldn’t play due to his red card on Wednesday even though that was in a different competition and that rule didn’t apply earlier in the competition. In any case, who cares now as he’s been able to rest for a weekend and we were still able to get a great result. The front three of Damiao, Hatate and Miyashiro all deserved a start I thought and although we didn’t set the world on fire in the first half we had a few chances and I thought they all did reasonably well. As I said before, I think Miyashiro just needs that first goal to set him off. Hopefully he can get that soon. Perhaps Mitoma was dropped to the bench for rotation reasons or perhaps we were hoping that it might take some other clubs' eyes off him a little. I guess that’s not going to happen now though as he has once again scored twice. And two more goals for Kobayashi from the bench shows just how big the contribution made by our subs is this year. I’d like to say this is more evidence of the curse of the starting striker, but at least in this game Damiao was able to get on the score sheet which I think he deserved. He once again looked pretty chuffed about it. To round up the goals, our opener came from a lovely header from Kurumaya, who had been rotated to replace Nobori who had looked well off the pace on Wednesday. I don’t know if it was a great delivery, or a great header or terrible marking and goalkeeping, but the ball did seem to rocket into the net before the keeper could even move. I’m delighted for Kurumaya too. He deserves to be playing a lot more than he is, but I understand that it’s difficult to change a winning team too much even in a season as congested as this one will be. But I think it should help him get another start on Wednesday and let Nobori rest a bit more. Of course the defence is the area where we can rotate the least as we don’t really have that many players in those positions. There may be another shuffle on Wednesday as Jesiel left the pitch apparently injured in this game to be replaced by Yamamura. However they were strapping up his leg before he was subbed which probably suggests that he was able to continue and perhaps the substitution was done more as a precaution than a necessity.
The second half was a bit of a procession, aside from their goal obviously, and also a few scary moments after they'd scored when they appeared to be building up some momentum. They had chances but we always looked like we were about to go up the other end and score some more. The first half was nowhere near as comfortable though and it seemed that once again our passing was a bit dodgy. Whether this is fatigue or just ‘the wrong kind of grass’ again I don’t know. But certainly the second half goal fest quietens down any doubts we may have been having about a first half in which they had the same number of chances as us and they hit the bar once. According to the stats we only had a few more chance than them in the second half too, which surprises me but I guess it also shows that we are pretty good at putting our chances away at the moment and perhaps that Sung-Ryong is doing a great job in goal. I have noticed recently that he seems to be catching the ball a lot more rather than punching it. I don’t know if this is a return to his natural style or whether he’s trying something new, but it definitely is preferable if we’re trying to avoid immediately conceding possession. I also recently heard that he has asked to take part in the passing exercises in our training sessions which is quite interesting. Well, I think it is anyway. I’ll just finish up with a few brief comments on things that I noticed which might be significant. Ao can take set pieces! There was a moment in the second half when all of our usual set piece takers were off the pitch and Ao stepped up. He seems to be at least as good as if not better than the others who've been taking them which is another string he has to his bow. Please don’t notice that other clubs. Kobayashi is now the club’s all time top flight highest goal scorer. He surpassed Juninho in this game, hence him paying tribute to the Brazilian by copying his goal celebration. Well done Yu! Oh, and one final thing that I enjoyed was the fact that when we winning by quite a few goals we seemed to be making attacking substitutions. At the end of the game it seemed like we had Kobayashi, Hatate, Mitoma and Manabu all playing up front. All a far cry from the old Oniki who would try to nick a goal and then hang on to the lead for dear life at the corner flag. So far this is quite a season to be a Frontale fan! Oh, and Damiao's booking should never have been a yellow card! Oh, and Sung-Ryong got an assist for Kobayashi's first goal. Wonderful!
But… next up Cerezo. Perhaps the bogiest of bogey teams for us. At least with Sagan Tosu we get a draw when we play them at home. We haven't beaten Cerezo home, away or at a neutral venue for quite a while. In fact the last time we did was in September 2017 so this game will be the biggest test of our winning run so far. They are also second in the table (admittedly Gamba have played one less game though), and are coming into the game off the back of an unusually high scoring win for them against Kashiwa. They’ve only lost once this year and that was against Nagoya. So definitely a challenging game for us. But fingers crossed we can keep the run going. The after that we’re away to Nagoya again, this time in the league. Definitely a challenging week. I’m sure we’d all love six points from those two games. Fingers crossed eh? Go Frontale!
GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
DF 5. TANIGUCHI Shogo
MF 22. SHIMODA Hokuto
MF 8. WAKIZAKA Yasuto
MF 18. MITOMA Kaoru (on for MIYASHIRO 46')
MF 19. SAITO Manabu (on for LEANDRO DAMIAO 84')
MF 25. TANAKA Ao (on for SHIMODA 46')
My Frontale Man Of The Match
When two players score twice from the bench and two others score too it’s easy to chose one of them as the man of the match. But I don’t like easy, so instead I’ll go for…
HATATE Reo - two assists, played on the left and the right, looked very dangerous throughout but to be honest I’m probably just giving it for the way he rolled the player on the touchline before powering forward to provide the cross for one of the goals. Lovely stuff!
KURUMAYA (Frontale) 35' 0-1
Forza Frontale!!! I think barring any injury (fingers crossed) this may be ours. Don’t want to jinx it though. Mitoma is an absolute beast. Yu had amazing goals. Seems to be a one team to beat year. I think the passing alone is what makes it work. Everyone works together and knows exactly where the teamate is at all times.ReplyDelete
Keep up the amazing posts! These are awesome for us on the other side of the world who can’t watch live.
Ps: from your previous posts, I also got that summer jersey. Too beautiful to pass up!
Thanks for the comment and the kind words. Big test coming on Wednesday!ReplyDelete
Indeed! But we play at home, so I think we can pull it off without suffering any terrible loss (again, I hope I don't jinx it!). Judging by how we are playing I think we can win. Forza Frontale!ReplyDelete