Nagoya Grampus 2 - 2 Kawasaki Frontale
What a weird game! But what a relief at the end. It goes without saying that the goals we conceded were calamitous and we can only be thankful that they came in a match that we didn’t have to win. At 1-0 down and then at 2-1 down I don’t think I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to get back into the game. I was worried though about how badly we were playing. A few games this year have shown that we sometimes need a bit of a kick up the backside to get going. The unfortunate own goal gave us one. On getting back level, we then completely switched off again and conceded immediately. I think this has to go down as a bullet dodged as we’re through as group winners even though we had a serious off day. It may also serve as a bit of a reminder that we’re not invincible in spite of our recent form. Nagoya came into the game on the back of a massive victory against Urawa and they started like they were still playing that game. We looked totally out of sorts. I think normally when we misplace so many passes we blame it on the grass and on TV it did look a bit long but it clearly wasn’t interfering with Nagoya’s passing as much as it was with ours. No-one really stood out as having a good game but a few stood out as having a bit of a bad one. Oshima, (and I was saying this even before the red card), looked really out of sorts and maybe needs a rest. Nobori, probably the same. The whole of our defence looked like they had never met before, the midfield was wasteful and the strikers didn’t really do much. As ridiculous as it sounds, Mitoma did pretty much nothing in this game (apart from score twice…). Kobayashi seemed to be out on the right again but was nowhere near as effective as he was against Oita. And Miyashiro is still trying his heart out but needs that first goal to get going properly I think. It would probably be difficult to argue about the red card as both yellows looked fair enough, but Oshima’s reaction suggested that maybe he didn’t think he made contact for the red and one camera angle appeared to back that up. I wonder if given how out of sorts he looked in this game that it might have been a good idea to remove him instead of Shimoda. Obviously it now looks like that would have been a good idea, but I’m still in the Oniki fan club at the moment so I won’t harp on about it.
A short post this time, but not due to sour grapes, more due to the absolute insanity that this game was. It was very open and very sloppy and could have swung either way. In the end we had a truce and five minutes of injury time consisting of Nagoya passing the ball along their back line ensuring both teams went through. I’m glad I watched this online rather than being able to travel to the match and watch it in the stadium. The night out afterwards would probably have been fun, but I don’t think there would have been much fun in the stands. Just a load of tension. This result was probably also quite helpful for the J League, as now the postponed game between Sanfrecce and Sagan Tosu doesn’t need to be played as the second placed finisher has been confirmed. So, yeah, let’s not waste any more time thinking about this, although I hope the team think about it a bit, as it’s something of a wake up call and I suppose being optimistic, it’s always good if you don’t lose your wake up call and you still end up winning the group. Next up, Consadole Sapporo away, another nice away trip that we’ll be missing this year and a team who still really want to get some revenge on us. Hopefully we’ll be back to more fluent and exciting ways by Saturday afternoon. Go Frontale!
GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG
My Frontale Man Of The Match
OWN GOAL (Nagoya) 1' 1-0
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