Friday 14 October 2022

Vs Kyoto Sanga (home) 12/10/22 J League match 25

Kawasaki Frontale 3 - 1 Kyoto Sanga 

Whoever wins the league this year, one thing is for sure. The winner won’t have won due to them having played the best the most times, but more having for choked a bit less than their rivals on less occasions. Once again this was another match day for us where the more significant action was happening in a different stadium. And actually in the Nissan stadium again. I’ve never particularly been a fan of that stadium but I’m starting to quite enjoy the results that are happening there recently. And a big thank you to Jubilo Iwata. I guess they felt they owed us something as we’d given them a couple of points in two absolutely awful games this year. Looking back, maybe we should have agreed to win one each and then we’d only be one point behind YFM instead of two. All of this is a lot of fun to talk about but we’ve probably got to admit that although lightning usually doesn’t strike twice, it strikes three or four times even less often. Jubilo and Gamba have done us massive favours but now we need Urawa and Vissel to do the same. And we’re playing Vissel next so somehow we need them to be terrible in the next game and then great in the last one. And we have FC Tokyo in the final game who smashed Cerezo 4-0 in their midweek game. That’s Cerezo, a team who we have drawn three times with and lost once to this year. It’s been a weird year and although our season by all rights should have been finished at least a few matches ago, it just keeps limping on. It’s the hope that kills you, I guess. And now we have another big old break till our next game. With my optimist hat on, (a hat I rarely wear), this long break is perfect for Kevin Muscats and YFM to get good and panicky and dwell deeply on their last two defeats, their confidence crumbling, resulting in then finishing the season with four consecutive losses. With more realistic headwear in place, it will probably just give them an opportunity to draw a line under those defeats and get back into some kind of shape to take the title. I’ve been saying for months that the title was gone so surely you weren’t going to expect me to change my mind now, were you? I will say though, the last two matches have been a lot of fun, haven’t they?

Minimal information in this section about the match. The usual quality you’d expect from me. Tachibanada was back and Joao Schmidt was absent due to a yellow card ban, so once again we were spared the double defensive midfielder thing. I hope Oniki has noticed that we’ve won the games where we haven’t played both of them together. It’s a shame as they both play really well in the defensive midfield role. This doesn’t mean that we need to play both of them though. During his red card break it seems that Tachibanada has been talking with Damiao, as before he got his goal in this game, I couldn’t ever have imagined him scoring with an overhead. I may be making the finish sound a bit more dramatic than it actually was, but it was great to see him come back from his disappointment with a goal. Taniguchi saw Yamamura score last weekend and clearly thought he’d like to get in the action too. And it was a lovely finish from Marcinho, who seemed to direct the ball home using his privates. I’m sure no-one cares how they go in at this stage though. We probably could have had more as we were well on top in the first half. At the same time though, even though we won by two goals, the end wasn’t exactly comfortable and Kyoto hit the woodwork a couple of times. They looked terrible in the first half for the most part and I was quite shocked how a few subs really turned things round for them. I thought they had some really good ideas from set pieces, but at the same time didn’t have the players to pull them off. Delighted about that to be honest. Cho has a reputation for being a manager that can get his team out of the relegation scrap but I’m not sure he’ll be able to do it on this occasion if they start their remaining games the way they started this one. There was a big flag with his face on it in the Kyoto end which for some unknown reason seemed to have the word ‘HUNT’ written under it. No idea about that. They also had plenty of those flags that the more racist groups of fans love so much and which go down very badly in the ACL. We did alright I think, but perhaps are running mainly on confidence and form right now. We rode our luck on quite a few occasions, but got away with it. I don’t have anyone to moan about in this game, but I will say that Marcinho and Ienaga have every right to be feeling totally knackered and maybe need a rest. Marcinho kept running for the whole game but like against Shimizu when he had a late chance to put the ball in an empty net from the halfway line, he just seemed to be lacking a bit of power. And Ienaga really slowed down as the game progressed, doing his usual drifting thing but, drifting around the pitch at half speed. Recently they have been undroppable and quite rightly so. But this break has come at exactly the right time. I probably would have subbed Ienaga if I were the manager, but as I’ve said many times, if I were the manager, we’d be in big trouble. And I suspect that Oniki and Ienaga have their eyes on the top goal scorer chart. He couldn’t add to his tally on this occasion though but hopefully he can before the season ends. Marcinho is only one goal behind too though. A quick word on Tanno, who has hardly had any opportunities in his time with is. He made an absolutely amazing save in this game, but once again was denied a clean sheet. I don’t think this was his fault, but he just seems to be unlucky that when he comes in, we gift the opposition some nice and easy chances. Or perhaps the same thing happens to Sung-Ryong but he manages to stop them. Anyway, well done to Tanno. I’m not worried that his kicking isn’t as good. If I know that, I’m sure the team does and probably shouldn’t be putting him in quite so many dubious situations. But yeah, nice work, and I hope you like your new song.

So, yeah, this is all a bit light. But I spent a lot of time at this game checking Flashscore and hoping that YFM were still drawing, and then hoping they were still losing. We didn’t set the world on fire but we did the job, which is more than can be said in plenty of games this year. So, very satisfying. Two games to go and they are Vissel at home and Chofu away. It’s a bit of a shame that we have to wait a few weeks till we can play again but as I said, it should give some players some time to rest a bit. Kobe are usually tricky for us, but we play better against them at home so there’s that to hang on to. And FC Tokyo have a slight shot at the ACL and would no doubt be delighted to deny us if it did come done to the final day of the season. But it’s not in our hands anyway so there’s no point talking about this kind of thing. Keep those fingers crossed and I have no shame in loudly proclaiming that I’m really supporting Urawa in their next match, which will be happening at the same time as ours, so if all goes well, expect me to not be paying much attention for our next game either.
GK 27. TANNO Kenta
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
DF 31. YAMAMURA Kazuya
MF 14. WAKIZAKA Yasuto
FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro

GK 21. ANDO Shunsuke
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro (on for NOBORIZATO 79')
DF 15. SASAKI Asahi
MF 17. KOZUKA Kazuki (on for WAKIZAKA 79')
MF 19. TONO Daiya (on for CHANATHIP 62')
FW 24. MIYAGI Ten (on for MARCINHO 79')
FW 26. EINAGA Takatora
My Frontale Man Of The Match
A decent performance from plenty of people so it’s a difficult choice. Chanathip was back and had a good game with a great cross for the first goal. Was nice to see Tachibanada back in a more comfortable position and getting a goal but I think I’ll give it jointly to…

TANUGUCHI Shogo, YAMAMURA Kazuya and TANNO Kenta - bit weird to give it to the two centre backs and the goalie as we did concede, (I haven’t watched the replay so might be dropping a clanger here), but I thought all three of them did their bit when it came to keeping us reasonably solid at the back. And loving those Yamamura runs forward which seem to be rubbing off on Taniguchi too now.
TANIGUCHI (Frontale) 9' 1-0
TACHIBANADA (Frontale) 22' 2-0
MARCINHO (Frontale) 61' 3-0
PAULINHO (Kyoto) 70' 3-1


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