Wednesday 30 June 2021

Vs Beijing Guoan 30/6/21 ACL Group stage game 2

Beijing Guoan 0 - 7 Kawasaki Frontale

If you thought that last blog post was a bit pointless in its flakiness  then this one is really going to up the ante. But to be honest, I’m not wholly to blame for this. This year’s ACL, (AN EASY RIDE! TYPICAL THAT YOU GET IT SO EASY! YOU’RE CRAP IF YOU DON’T WIN EVERY GAME 20-0! cry the rival fans… again…), is a weird beast. I quite like seeing plenty of teams from ‘smaller’ footballing nations so thanks to the Australian teams for sorting that out. The significant difference as evidenced by this game is the fact that the Chinese teams have sent the kids. The oldest player who started the game for Beijing Guoan was 23 and he was the goalkeeper. He also had the lowest squad number which is not unusual when you consider he is the keeper but when that number is 25 there’s definitely something going on. Incidentally, the highest number on display was 88. And it showed on the pitch as they looked pretty awful. So awful that any real discussion of this match is pretty pointless I’d say. I can’t imagine we have ever had so much space in a competitive game before. After an initial flurry of goals at the start of the game they did manage to stem the flow slightly. But I’d say that this was more due to us not just taking our foot off the gas, but more pulling over into the motorway service station, turning the car off and spending the majority of the rest of the first half browsing the magazines in WH Smith and getting and eating a Cornish Pasty. We scored goals and any dissection of the goals is kind of pointless, I’ll just mention that it was good for Hasegawa and Yamamura to get one, Chinen to get a couple and for Wakizaka, Tono and Tachibanada to keep their goal counter ticking over. Nice.

A few words on our starting lineup. It seems that Noborizato is injured after he left the pitch in the last game. It also seems that Kobayashi could be joining him on the sidelines after picking up a knee injury and having to be subbed after 34 minutes. Hopefully it won’t be too serious as if we continue at this rate of one important injury every game we could end up with lots of players missing by the time we get back to playing J League fixtures. Of course, I’d like to blame the pitch like I did last time, but to be honest it looked a bit better. Or rather I didn’t notice it being totally horrible. Perhaps this was due to the game being considerably less challenging than our last fixture against Daegu. Also, I was attempting to watch the England Germany game at the same time so there is a real possibility that instead of taking in two games at once, I ended up not really paying any attention to two games at once. It was made all the more confusing by the fact that the two games were going quite different ways when it came to tension and the level of the tactical battle going on. Oniki made a few changes when it came to the starting line up. There were various interpretations of the formation after the line up was announced. Not sure that any of them were right to be honest. Basically we had a centre back pairing of Kurumaya and Yamamura, with Hatate at left back and Taniuguchi in the defensive midfield spot. Because, you know, it’s been a little while since we tried that and yeah, it didn’t work, but why not give it another go, eh? I always moan about it because it never works and once again it didn’t, so I will register a moan about it again. Moan. Perhaps it’s telling than Taniguchi was withdrawn at half time. As we are pretty light on centre backs I would have thought he could have been rested for this game anyway. Perhaps that was Oniki’s thinking when he took him off at half time. I hope though that his thinking was ‘Weird… I tried this same thing again and for some reason once again it didn’t work’. He clearly knows a let more than me about football but please let me know if I’m off the mark with my desire to not see Taniguchi play in midfield. It was nice to see Issaka and Kamiya get some time on the pitch again. This time it was more than a minute for Kamiya and I thought he looked pretty good at left back. But like I said I wasn’t fully focussed so probably only noticed when he was involved in some kind of action. I wonder if he might start the next game if Nobori is still injured. I’ll draw this post to a conclusion with a couple of stupid observations. I liked Chinen’s new sideburns. Surprisingly long. Or at least that’s how they looked. And an observation that the low budget feel to these games and their coverage continued with the fake digital subs boards with day-glo stick on numbers being used. I wonder if they had enough of the larger digits given that they probably don’t usually need to do a substitution where player number 88 is replaced by 68. (These numbers are for demonstration purposes only. Truth and accuracy, as you’d expect from this blog, is abandoned in order to make a stupid joke. The TV director and cameramen still seem obsessed with long lingering shots of managers or players uninvolved with the action whilst the game continues unobserved off screen. I find it adds to the excitement though, as particularly given that there is no crowd reaction noise, literally anything could be happening and you only have the facial expressions of the person being focussed on to use as evidence for a guess as to what’s going on.

Next up we have United City of the Philippines on Friday at 11pm so it won’t be such a late night. They lost 7-0 to Daegu in their second game so I guess we probably won’t be putting out the full strength team and hopefully will see some more squad players getting a chance. Can’t help but feel though that if we started Damiao in this game and the other two games against United City and Beijing Guoan he might end up breaking the all time ACL scoring record that Dejan Damjanovic has just broken. He’s probably about 32 goals behind still, but I wouldn’t rule it out. Certainly we’d be seeing a few more overhead kicks! There is a lingering feeling that this whole tournament group stage is a bit pointless but I have to say, I’m quite enjoying it! Go Frontale!


GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
MF 28. YAMAMURA Kazuya
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro
FW 19. TONO Daiya
FW 16. HASEGAWA Tatsuya

GK 27. TANNO Kenta
MF 3. TSUKAGAWA Koki  (on for TANIGUCHI 46')
MF 10. OSHIMA Ryota (on for WAKIZAKA 76')
DF 15. ISSAKA Zain (Yellow card 85') (on for YAMANE 54')
FW 18. MITOMA Kaoru
FW 20. CHINEN Kei (on for KOBAYASHI 34')
DF 26. KAMIYA Kaito (on for HATATE 54')
FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro

HASEGAWA (Frontale) 7' 0-1
TACHIBANADA (Frontale) 8' 0-2
TONO (Frontale) 41' 0-3
CHINEN (Frontale) 47' PEN 0-4
YAMAMURA (Frontale) 51' 0-5
WAKIZAKA (Frontale) 56' 0-6
CHINEN (Frontale) 59' 0-7

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