Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Vs FC Tokyo (away) 11/4/21 - J League match 9


FC Tokyo 2 - 4 Kawasaki Frontale

Another very late blog post. This time it’s a bit more of a surprise though as this game was quite an enjoyable experience! So there you go, proof that I’m not sulking when we have a disappointing game. More that I’m disorganised whatever the performance and result are like. Given that we’re sailing close to the wind with another game coming up in about 24 hours I’m going to go with the same ‘us’, ‘them’ and ‘ref and var’ sections again and then we can get on with preparing for the visit of Avispa Fukuoka on Wednesday. This time round, let’s start with…

Them -

Every time I write a blog post about either FC Tokyo of YFM I end up  making the same old bad jokes and subtle digs at our rivals. On this occasion it feels slightly unfair to do so as FC Tokyo seem to be in a bit of a mess behind the scenes and it’s not nice to kick someone when they’re down. Naturally I was delighted that the SBO Leandro was nowhere to be seen. His absence is something of a mystery with various theories going round. My personal one is that he’s just a total dirt bag and a terrible person to have in the locker room. There must have been a reason that Kashima were prepared to let him go for nothing a couple of years ago. I think he’s just bad news. Certainly he does do some good things on the pitch but they are more they outweighed by his total arseholery. But anyway, he didn’t play so I don’t know why I’m bothering to write about him. It does seem though that his influence is rubbing off on Diego Oliveira a bit. I always had thought he was a decent enough guy but recently he seems to have turned into a nasty fouling whinger, with his three options being roll around on the floor after the slightest contact, gesture and shout at the ref if something doesn’t go his way, or put in a horror tackle made up of 95% vindictiveness and violence with a 5% sprinkling of bad football. Perhaps he’s frustrated at being expected to do everything. Nagai basically runs fast and then falls over, nothing much happens in the middle and the two full backs crumple under the slightest pressure. Lovely for us though! Tokyo were pretty average in this game and I guess I should say that we should feel very disappointed to have conceded twice to give some fuel for Tokyo fans wanting to find something in this post to get angry about. To further stoke the fire of annoyance I’ll add that the atmosphere from the Tokyo parts of the stadium consisted of long periods of silence occasionally punctured by the briefest period of applause when they scored. Probably the biggest reaction in the game from their fans or players was when Tanno collected the ball close to the edge of his box, but more on that later… This was preceded by a gag-inducing rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, which I know already doesn’t sit particulalry well with some Tokyo fans, but hearing the version they play accompanied by a silent stadium laid bare quite how horrible it was. Presumably the Gerry & The Pacemakers version is too expensive to use so they made their own version with a Casio preset and a couple of guys who can speak English… but not sing. On Twitter I joked that it was probably some local Eikaiwa staff but hearing the stadium announcer (who, as an aside, I’m pretty sure got one of their players’ name wrong) a bit more clearly due to the silence in the stadium I wonder if his mid-Atlantic drive time radio tones were employed instead. I dunno, this all feels a bit cheap to be honest. The FC Tokyo fans I know are nice guys so it’s not completely fun to be mean about their team. I think they would be disappointed if I didn’t bitch a bit though so hopefully they enjoyed this. I know how they feel though as we’ve had some similarly awful days at the office when nothing works on the pitch and no-one seems to even be able to kick a ball. Thankfully not yet this year, but surely we will have one sooner of later. I’ll just finish up by saying that on this flat performance from them the ‘sexy football’ flag behind the goal (which I was taking a photo of purely to make this joke when Ienaga scored a beauty which I consequently only half saw... Did mean that I have a photo of him scoring which is immediately below this paragaraph), is even more amusing than it normally is. Add in your own joke here about erectile disfunction. Or picture Boris Johnson attempting to mount his latest mistress. SEXY! All quite unpleasant.

Us -

Oniki rang some changes in this game, but still Yamane powers on. He had another quiet game but given that he wasn’t getting forward quite as much perhaps he was quiet because he’d been told to defend a bit more, was a bit knackered or was up against a good opponent on his side. Kurumaya came in for Nobori at left back and I thought he had a really good game. Given our wealth of midfielders it might seem strange that Oniki is back on the conversion train again, but Tono started the game in midfield instead of playing further forward. I guess he played there for some of the last game and he scored. I didn’t notice him so much in this game though. Our front three had the ball in the net five times in the game so they are clearly all on fire. I wonder who will start against Fukuoka. I suspect Oniki will mix it up a bit. By which I mean completely change the front three. We scored some nice goals in this game but were gifted at least a couple of them. You’ve still got to put the ball in the back of the net though and we did a great job of doing so. Tanno continued in goal and did ok I thought. He had a bit more to deal with in this game than against Oita (no shots on target). Much like against Tosu, according to the stats he stopped one shot on target. Unfortunately this time he let two in as well, but obviously there’s more to be being a goal keeper than just saving shots on target (although I’m not downplaying the importance of doing that!). I felt like this was a bit like the game Tanno played last year against Kashima. Similarly he did pretty well but then was a little unlucky to concede two goals and obliterate his clean sheet. Thankfully though he did get a couple of clean sheets in the two previous games. And he did really irritate the FC Tokyo fans and get himself mentioned on Twitter quite a lot when he collected the ball inside but close to the edge of  his area. We were behind the other goal, so a long way away but at a good angle, and at the time it looked close but not that close. FC Tokyo fans and players alike protested (apart from Nagai, who was the only one close to the incident which possibly says something), and we went up the other end and scored. I’m pretty sure it would have been looked at by VAR to check the goal. I don’t know if it was. But the J League judge replay swatted the complaints away quite quickly using the incident only as a bridge to talk about other similar incidents and to clarify the rule. They were in no doubt that the ball was in the box. But let’s not let facts get in the way of a hot take gained from one side-on replay. I guess we’re quite annoying for lots of other teams’ fans now so they will use any opportunity to have a go at us and try to suggest that we’re getting preferential treatment or the rub of the green. I do get it. If the shoe was on the other foot, I’d probably be doing the same thing. I also think I understand how social media works though. It’s very easy to retweet or like something after a quick glance. And it’s very pointless to argue on the internet so I’m very pleased with myself for managing not to bite. Couple of final things. I think one of Damiao’s assists was an attempted overhead so I’m pleased that is coming back into his game. Perhaps his new thing will be overhead kick assists. He looked delighted with his goal and it’s a total joy to have him playing for us. What a nice guy! And hats off to us supporters. I’m not sure if the upper and lower tier alternate clapping to the ‘Let’s go’ rhythm was preplanned. It seemed to come about organically. It was a lot of fun and when we can combine it with the new arm waving AM10 ‘song’ when we have the drums it’s going to make COVID supporting a hell of a lot more enjoyable. (Excellent timing as we lurch into another half-arsed lot of restrictions which do next to nothing). We’ll see what it’s like at home against Avispa.

Ref and VAR -

VAR first. I hate it. Have I said that before? Hehe. No wrong decisions in this game I think, but the delay for the disallowed goal was ridiculous given that people watching the game online said that it was clearly offside. I haven’t watched it back but I’ll trust them. A few minutes delay for an obvious decision is pretty crazy. If it was obviously onside but they had to check for other infringements, fair enough. But if the offside is clear, we don’t need to check if anyone pulled a funny face behind the ref’s back in the build-up a few minutes previously. About the ref, I have a few more things to say! Looking back on my old posts it seems I didn’t previously have much of a problem with Fukushima but he was a nightmare in this game. When both sets of fans think he had a stinker you can probably be sure that he did. I don’t think he was biased either way, but some of his decisions were completely bizarre. I’m pretty sure after a Tokyo corner was taken and our player was knocked to the floor he blew his whistle and asked them to take it again. I thought he had definitely forgotten his cards as this game was a little feisty as you’d expect from a derby but Diego got nothing for a nasty revenge foul. Also, nothing for a player blatantly taking out Hasegawa or Mitoma or Kurumaya as they raced clear on the left. Basically I can remember where the incident was but not who was involved… somewhat undermining my complaint. He did finally book one Tokyo player but to be honest, I can’t remember that incident so let’s just say he probably got that wrong too. I think all of this was compounded by the long delay in restarting after half time as Fukushima seemed to be having radio problems. The old ‘hand on the ear’ is becoming something that sends simultaneous waves of anxiety and frustration through the body as we anticipate another tedious VAR delay. But to have it at the start of the half with both teams ready to go and standing in position is a bit bizarre. I wonder if in fact it hadn’t been working for the whole of the first half and it was just blasting white noise into his ear. That might explain some of his work I guess. But you know me, I love a moan about a ref, so I’m sure you would have been disappointed if I didn’t have something to say about him.


As I said above a few times, next up, Avispa Fukuoka at home in about 24 hours. Nara has recently started playing for them so I expect he’ll line up against us and have the game of his life. I still don’t blame him for leaving us, and I still blame Oniki for making him leave. (All conjecture of course, but you’d expect nothing less from me!). It’s fair to say that they’ve had a mixed start to the season. It’s also fair to say that we always have bad games against teams that some people
expect us to beat easily. I suspect a bit of Oniki rotation and that this could be an interesting match. Definitely the kind of team we could slip up against. Fingers crossed. After that I have a race against time to get a blog post out before Sunday when we take on Hiroshima at home. So many home games! Some might say that this means we have an advantage, but I’m not so sure that it goes like that for us. It does mean though that we have a lot of nice away trips coming up later in the season which will presumably be ruined by COVID restrictions. Damn… Anyway, Go Frontale!


Team

GK 27. TANNO Kenta
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
DF 4. JESIEL
DF 5. TANIGUCHI Shogo
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro
MF 6. JOAO SCHMIDT
MF 19. TONO Daiya
MF 25. TANAKA Ao
FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro
FW 9. LEANDRO DAMIAO
FW 18. MITOMA Kaoru

Subs
GK 21. ANDO Shunsuke
DF 2. NOBORIZATO Kyohei
MF 8. WAKIZAKA Yasuto (on for TONO 75')
FW 11. KOBAYASHI Yu (on for LEANDRO DAMIAO 84')
FW 16. HASEGAWA Tatsuya (on for MITOMA 84')
FW 20. CHINEN Kei (on for IENAGA 84')
MF 22. TACHIBANADA Kento (on for TANAKA 90+1')



My Frontale Man Of The Match

 

Hmmmmm. I should probably have thought about this a bit more at the time as now I can’t really remember. I think I thought Joao had another good game. Ao too. Damiao got a goal and two assists. Mitoma finished nicely on a couple of occasions. Ienaga scored twice. Kurumaya did well. I’m basically naming almost the whole team, so let’s leave it again.
 

 

Goals

IENAGA (Frontale) 8' 0-1
IENAGA (Frontale) 17' 0-2
ADAILTON (Tokyo) 59' 1-2
MITOMA (Frontale) 61' 1-3
LEANDRO DAMIAO (Frontale) 75' 1-4
UCHIDA (Tokyo) 84' 2-4


Highlights

 

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Vs Sagan Tosu (home) 7/4/21 - J League match 8


Kawasaki Frontale 1 - 0 Sagan Tosu

This was a very welcome result in a game we usually struggle in. Hopefully this post will be a bit more informative than the last one, but it will also be less decorative as we were back in our usual seats. This might have contributed to me enjoying the game a little more to be honest but doesn’t work so well for good photos. Another game is fast approaching and I’m still busy so let’s get on with this with three brutally to the point bullet point titles.

Us-

A few changes in the team again. My towel curse continues to afflict Tsukagawa. Also, I guess someone heard that I’ve ordered a Hatate short as he too was dropped from the squad. To be fair, he probably deserved a rest, but with it coinciding with both my purchase and his apparent frustration at being subbed in the last match I hope it’s nothing more than a rest. If only Oniki could work out how to give Yamane a rest. He really needs it. I really like him as a player and he’s done some great stuff for us but I really don’t think he should be playing every game. You could say we have a lack of options there, but in reality we have options but just a manager unwilling to try them. Kamiya, Issaka and Tanabe could all potentially play there, but instead it seems we’re going to run Yamane into the ground before making any kind to change. And that change will probably be to play a midfielder there. I think the time has come though. It’s unfortunate that the next game is the away fixture against FC Chofu as we need to do it sooner rather than later. Yamane’s passing was pretty dodgy in this game. Also, I’m not that happy to see him all over the pitch and Kobayashi having to cover his defensive duties. Apparently Oniki gives him full backs licence to roam and do what they want, (in apparent contrast to the strict things he demands from his centre backs), but I can now fully understand why Kobayashi might not want to play on the right if he’s going to spend a lot of the game covering for Yamane and defending. Let’s be honest though, if he hadn’t been having a dodgy game I probably wouldn’t be complaining about him being our furthest player forward on numerous occasions, so let’s just give him a rest and get him back to his best and then we can enjoy his crazy attacking and forget about the fact that he forgets he’s a defender.
A few comments about other players to finish this section. Damiao is still ruling with his pressing of opposition keepers. He also is definitely now obsessed with long range shots. And he got another backheeled assist in this game. How many obsessions can one player have?! No bicycle kicks in this game though. It was good to see Ao back and I think he firmed things up. Once again, I still only seem to notice Wakizaka when he does something wrong. Jesiel was rock solid at the back and it was a nice finish from Tono for the goal. I like the combination of Kobayashi on the right and Damiao in the middle but it didn’t quite work as well in this game as it has previously.

Them-

It would be easy to just dismiss this as another unspectacular win. Certainly some people seemed to think that this game was less exciting than the 2-0 against Oita last weekend. Perhaps due to the lower amount of alcohol consumed before the match, I actually enjoyed this game a bit more. Sure, we weren’t exactly scintillatingly free flowing and expansive but this was a win against Sagan Tosu, the only team we failed to beat last year, and this is the fixture that recently has pretty much always been a frustrating 0-0. Admittedly we only scored once and a 1-0 is the closest possible score to 0-0 you can get, but I think this was an important monkey to get off our back. Perhaps we were helped by the fact that Sagan Tosu are doing much better this year. I’m not sure it particularly changed their game plan from previous seasons as they were still pretty resolute at the back. But in previous years this defensive stinginess seemed to be enhanced when they played us. This was only the second goal they have conceded in eight games, so we should take some satisfaction from breaking down a tough defence. The absence of one of their best defenders due to suspension possibly helped. As did the red card which reduced them to ten men for most of the second half. But whereas in the past losing a man would make their defending more resolute and our attacking somehow blunter, on this occasion we managed to get a goal and take the win. Finally on Tosu, it was nice to see that Edu is doing well there and also nice to see Nakano again. I feel that maybe both haven’t quite ever shown their full potential and while I’m pleased they didn’t do so in this match, I wish them both good luck for the rest of the season apart from our away fixture against them. Oh, and once a YFM keeper, always a YFM keeper. I was disappointed we couldn’t take advantage more of some of Park’s ‘Iikura chances’ but to be honest this was because most of his distribution consisted of him booting the ball off the side of the pitch. I should have some more sympathy for him really as he seemed to get shafted a bit by our maritime neighbours, but you know, just because he’s our enemy’s enemy doesn’t necessarily mean he should be our friend.

Ref and VAR-

I thought this might have been a new ref in this game but on checking my records it seems we’ve had a few games with Yamamoto over the years. Slightly concerningly for Taniguchi, the VAR ref was Kasahara, who loves to send him off. Once again, there were thankfully not may VAR decisions. There were claims for a Tosu handball blocking a shot in the first half but looking at the incident on DAZN afterwards it would have been very harsh to give it as he was side-on with his arms by his side when the ball hit him. Tosu were quite a physical side and I think the ref should probably have got his cards out earlier. But he had no hesitation in getting the red out for the DOGSO. Sure it was a long way out, but it was 100% a foul and as the last man he had to go. At least that’s how I understand the rule. It seemed a bit crazy that Ao got booked considering what Tosu had got away with in the first half but I’m not going to moan too much as aside from being a bit lenient in the first half, I thought the ref had a reasonable game. Oh, and forgot to say, I still hate VAR.


Just about squeaking this post out before the next game which is FC Tokyo away tomorrow (Sunday). Always a big game for the fans, I hope we can keep going with the good results and hopefully the rivalry between the two clubs will create some excitement. At the Ajinomoto stadium, (where the home team atmosphere is usually mainly played over the speakers…) with Corona restrictions in place this looks like it could be a weird experience. It would be lovely if we could score a few goals and silence the already silent opposition fans. After that we’re at home again on Wednesday against Avispa Fukuoka. Could do with a break soon as the schedule is pretty full right now. Go Frontale!

 

Team

GK 27. TANNO Kenta
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
DF 4. JESIEL
DF 5. TANIGUCHI Shogo
DF 2. NOBORIZATO Kyohei
MF 6. JOAO SCHMIDT
MF 8. WAKIZAKA Yasuto
MF 25. TANAKA Ao (Yellow card 68')
FW 11. KOBAYASHI Yu
FW 9. LEANDRO DAMIAO
FW 16. HASEGAWA Tatsuya

Subs
GK 21. ANDO Shunsuke
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro (on for NOBORIZATO 90+1')
FW 18. MITOMA Kaoru (on for HASEGAWA 62')
FW 19. TONO Daiya (on for WAKIZAKA 62')
FW 20. CHINEN Kei (on for LEANDRO DAMIAO 80')
MF 22. TACHIBANADA Kento
FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro (on for KOBAYASHI 80')



My Frontale Man Of The Match


Should have written this sooner. I've slightly forgotten, but I remember being impressed by...

JESIEL - Solid and efficient. A big contributor to us not conceding many goals this year.

 
Goals

TONO (Frontale) 65' 1-0


Highlights



Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Vs Oita Trinita (home) 2/4/21 - J League match 7


Kawasaki Frontale 2 - 0 Oita Trinita

Another win, and some nice results in other games means that this was another good weekend for us. Let’s not be too optimistic though! It was again quite an underwhelming performance but as long as the results are turning out positive I guess I’m not going to complain too much about less than sparkling performances. With a few players returning from international duty it was no surprise that there was a bit of shuffling of the pack when it came to the starting line up. Bizarrely though, I think this was mainly down to injuries, (and people recovering from injuries) rather than any national team tiredness. I was lucky enough to get a VIP ticket for this game. You will therefore get some better photos this time round. VIP tickets come with free beer though, so don’t expect me to really remember anything about the match. Aside from the photos I think this post might be plumbing new depths for this blog. I think your best bet for this post is instead of reading this, just watch the highlights, draw the obvious conclusions, invert one of these conclusions apparently completely randomly and moan a little bit whilst trying to make a few jokes. Bingo! You have your own Frontale Rabbit blog post! I’m pretty busy right now, so maybe we should adopt this strategy for the next few posts too. So, apologies in advance. This is going to be pretty vague.
 

 
Nobori is back from injury so we can rest Hatate. Actually let’s play him in midfield instead. Sung-Ryong seems to be injured as he hasn’t been training. Neither has Yamamura, so we tread one terrifying step closer to possibly having the defensive crisis that we’ve probably been long overdue. We’ve been quite lucky with injuries and suspensions at the back so far considering how light we are in those positions. Hopefully that luck can continue. Hatate on the left of the midfield didn’t seem to create the same chemistry with Mitoma as it does when he plays at left back. It also should be noted that Hatate looked a bit miffed when he was subbed. I guess he was finally getting a chance to play a bit closer to his preferred position and ended up getting changed. Tono coming on for him saw Mitoma move to the left of midfield and it didn’t really seem to work. Not sure why Oniki didn’t drop Ienaga back into midfield as he’s done before. Perhaps he was trying out some new combinations. Or perhaps he was just doing that weird two stage subs thing that he seems to have inherited from Kazama and likes to do from time to time. I’m not sure if it has ever really worked. To explain slightly, to me it looks like our first change(s) disrupt things positionally and then the second change(s) move people back into a more comfortable positions. In this game it ended up being Hatate off, Mitoma moving backwards and Tono to the Mitoma position whilst Ao replaces Wakizaka like for like. Then eight minutes later, Mitoma comes off for Hasegawa who moves forward, pushing Tono over to Ienaga’s spot who is replaced with Tachibanada who fills the gap that Mitoma was playing in after the first set of changes. Bit like one of those puzzles where you have to rearrange the tiles to make a picture with only one empty space to allow you to manoeuvre things. At least that’s how it seemed to me anyway. Perhaps the reason I never see the benefit of these kind of two stage changes is because if the first part of the change ever works it negates the need for the second. Perhaps… But let’s be honest, we pretty much do the same subs every game so I think it’s unlikely that a potential two stage change ever goes under the radar. All a bit confusing that, and not sure why I spent so long writing about it to be honest. Just something I think I have noticed anyway. A couple of brief observations on players' performances. Tanno is surprisingly vocal! It was quite interesting to hear him barking out instructions. Perhaps the instructions and organisation was part of the reason that he didn’t have to make a save in this game. Damiao was on fire from the point of view of nice little lay offs in the first half I thought. And Joao seemed to be everywhere again, involved in everything, tidying up nicely and always available. Kobayashi went straight down the tunnel at the end of the game so I suspect that he might have picked up some kind of injury. Hope it isn’t anything serious. It doesn’t seem to have affected his messaging on line though as I’ve had a couple of updates from him, so perhaps everything is ok.
 


I feel I should write something about my general feelings on our team performances this year. Certainly we have quite an act to follow up on from last year. I think I’ve said before (if not on here, then certainly on the J Talk podcast), that I wonder if the pressure of repeating last year is weighing on us slightly. We’ve had quite a few ordinary performances so far this year but seem to have got away with them for the most part. I wonder too if its more that the excitement of last season is weighing on the fans a bit too. Or perhaps me anyway. I’m already feeling a bit burnt out with the onslaught of games. Maybe not burnt out, maybe more slightly tired of them. Whilst the experience of going to games looks to be getting better again (the drums were back at this game and there were opposition fans too), aside from the goals, long periods of our games are not exactly exciting to watch. This could be a kind of arrogant thing to say though, I suspect. In the past we would gladly hoover up any wins no matter how dire the performance,  but after we set the bar quite high last year a 2-0 win seems more like a 0-0 draw. I don’t know if it is just me feeling this way. Perhaps it is, and I should examine the rest of my life a bit more than projecting it onto Frontale, but there is a bit of a spark missing, even when one of our most exciting players scores twice in a match. In some ways, it feels a bit like ten pin bowling, darts or baseball in the way that once you get to a certain level of play your games are decided by you under-performing rather than over-performing. Mistakes change results rather than moments of brilliance. So perhaps we now expect greatness and notice more when we underwhelm. Clearly this is all going to irritate lots of people. Particularly coming on the back of a 5-0 win away at Urawa, but that was very much out of character this season, (perhaps because it was an away game… hmmmm, we have played at home a lot so far this year…). And lord knows I much prefer this kind of season to the year before last where we found new ways to disappoint every few weeks. And there’s no way I want some defeats to break up the monotony and give us something to bounce back from. But things are quite predictable recently and I’d like a bit of a spark now and again on the pitch or in the team selection perhaps. The next two games could provide some of the former I guess but perhaps in a negative way. Of course I’d rather we don’t have a breath of fresh air in the form of a couple of defeats though.
 


Finally, the usual ref and VAR part. Tanimoto was a new ref for me I think. Can’t remember ever hearing the name before. Didn’t make any notes about him which suggests he had a good game or I wasn’t paying attention. Or both. Think there was only one little VAR delay too, bizarrely when there seemed to be nothing to check. Even though it has again not interfered with the game much I still hate it.



Next up, Sagan Tosu at home on Wednesday. More often than not this is a nailed on 0-0 bore draw, but this year they are doing really well and perhaps we’d be pleased to come away with a dull as ditchwater goalless draw if they hit their heights. They did just get pegged back a little by Cerezo. After that we travel along the Tama river to Chofu city in Yamanashi… is it? Hang on, maybe it’s Fukui. I dunno, certainly not in Tokyo anyway. This ‘classic banter’ along with my thoughts on us being a bit lacklustre all adds up to a couple of defeats and then you can and probably should blame me for jinxing things. Sorry in advance. And in an attempt to counter my jinxing, GO FRONTALE!
 
 
Team

GK 27. TANNO Kenta
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
DF 4. JESIEL
DF 5. TANIGUCHI Shogo
DF 2. NOBORIZATO Kyohei
MF 6. JOAO SCHMIDT
MF 8. WAKIZAKA Yasuto
DF 47. HATATE Reo 
FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro
FW 9. LEANDRO DAMIAO
FW 18. MITOMA Kaoru

Subs
GK 21. ANDO Shunsuke
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro
FW 11. KOBAYASHI Yu (on for LEANDRO DAMIAO 80')
FW 16. HASEGAWA Tatsuya (on for MITOMA 89')
FW 19. TONO Daiya (on for HATATE 72')
MF 22. TACHIBANADA Kento (on for IENAGA 80')
MF 25. TANAKA Ao (on for WAKIZAKA 72')

 

My Frontale Man Of The Match


Honestly I can’t remember that much so I’ll give it to…

JOAO SCHMIDT - I made a note about him being tidy and that was about one eight of all of my notes on the game so that suggests he did well in my opinion.
 
 
Goals

MITOMA (Frontale) 39' 1-0
MITOMA (Frontale) 66' 2-0

Highlights



Monday, 22 March 2021

Vs Urawa Reds (away) 21/3/21 - J League match 6

 Urawa Reds 0 - 5 Kawasaki Frontale

This was the classic game of two halves. Quite how a classic game of two halves could end up as a 5-0 win, I’m not sure. I guess our good half went a bit better than their good half. To be fair, their good half did finish with us one goal up, but this was kind of against the run of play. Normally the game of two halves cliche is used to describe the situation I was referred to above, where one team rules the first half and the other rules the second. You could say that this was a game of two halves for another reason too though. The first half was largely made up of pointless possession without making too many real chances, and mistakes from both teams whereas the second saw us have eight chances, five of which were on target and four of which were goals. So one half of ineffectiveness and one half of ruthlessness. Although this does ignore too good volleys which resulted in good saves from both keepers, but as this doesn't fit my description let's just gloss over them. Aside from them it was all a bit scrappy. To be honest, we were due some excitement after Wednesday’s pretty rubbish and boring display so it was nice to see some shots on target and some goals again in the second half. Plenty of drinks were consumed during the game, so it is all a bit blurry. It was another game watched on TV and although I have plenty of time to write this post before the next game, a TV game always inspires me to knock something out as quick as possible. I still find them quite difficult to get involved with, particularly when we are playing like we were in the first half. No bullet points today, just a few paragraphs and then let’s have a rest.

Given that we have a couple of weeks off after this game I guess I should have known that we would probably go with most of the usual starting eleven, particularly as we don’t seem to have any cover in most of the positions that we haven’t been rotating. I say no cover, but I guess what I mean is no cover than Oniki trusts as we have players who can play left or right back and three other goalkeepers, but still Yamane, Hatate and Sung-Ryong keep going. To be honest, out of the three of them, I think Yamane is looking the tiredest. Aside from a nice volleyed attempt at goal in the first half, he looked a bit off the pace, and with none of the turbo boost that you might normally expect from him. A goal glut in the second half (along with a few beers), distracted me from observing any defensive work in this game. Can't complain too much though if we come away with a clean sheet. Up front, we spun the rotation wheel a little leaving Damiao in place but bringing in Kobayashi on the right and Hasegawa on the left. Finally, after being seemingly unwilling to play Kobayashi on the right for what must be years, Oniki did it, and it went pleasingly well! I wonder if in the past it was more down to Kobayashi being unwilling to play there and now he has been convinced that maybe it’s better to play on the right rather than sit on the bench. I feel we really should have done it more in the past. It's a system that seems to play to both Kobayashi and Damiao’s strengths. Not sure where it would leave Ienaga, but he always seems quite flexible. Who knows really, but it’s nice to have some more options. Now if we could sort out the same thing at the back we’d really be talking!

I’ve maybe made if sound like this was a close game, but that was only in the first half. Urawa did nothing in the second half and still really look like a work in progress. It didn’t seem very fair of us to batter Rodriquez’s team so near to the start of his tenure, but hopefully for his sake they will have some patience with him. Probably has quite a bit of work to do though. You could say they did us some favours with some dodgy defending but our finishes were pretty nice, so let’s look at it from that direction instead. After scoring from distance again Kobe, Damiao had a go at it again from his own half before he remembered his true love is overhead kicks. For once though, he got it on target and it was a lovely goal! I’m slightly worried that his celebration had some pointing skywards going on so I hope he hasn’t suffered any loss that we don’t know about. Three of the other goals were also lovely finishes too. Quite how Kobayashi has been credited with the fourth I don’t know, as to me it clearly looked like he just chested it to the defender for him to bury into the top of he net. Lovely finish from him. I’ll credit it to Kobayashi below as that’s what the official verdict is. All of these scored against the keeper of the Japanese national team in the upcoming games they have in the next couple of weeks!

Which links nicely to the fact that I thought our players were getting a nice rest but some of them will be taking part in international games (perhaps). Mitoma, Hatate and Ao were selected for the U24 squad but sadly an injury in this game seems to have ruled Ao out of contention which is a real shame for him. Yamane has been selected for the main squad. It is slightly unfortunate that the two players who needed a rest the most aren’t going to get it. Although the manager of the national team does seem to dislike our players a bit and never really seems to want to select them, so maybe they won’t actually be playing, but won’t be resting on an international bench. We’ll see how much they are involved and hopefully they’ll all come back in one piece.

When they do come back, our next opponents will be Oita, who haven’t had a great start to the season, but who have foiled us on a few occasions in recent seasons. So who knows how that game will go. The next match is so far away that it seems kind of stupid for me to make any predictions about line-ups but it will be interesting to see if Oniki continues with Kobayashi and Damiao playing together. After all, it did click pretty nicely in the second half of this game! This was certainly the right way to bounce back from the Kobe game. Just took us a little while to get going. Oh, I didn’t mention VAR. Don’t think it was used, but I still hate it. Good luck to our internationals, play well and come back safely. Go Frontale!
 
Team

GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
DF 4. JESIEL
DF 5. TANIGUCHI Shogo
DF 47. HATATE Reo
MF 6. JOAO SCHMIDT
MF 25. TANAKA Ao
MF 8. WAKIZAKA Yasuto
FW 11. KOBAYASHI Yu
FW 9. LEANDRO DAMIAO
FW 16. HASEGAWA Tatsuya

Subs
GK 27. TANNO Kenta
MF 3. TSUKAGAWA Koki (on for TANAKA 73')
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro (on for JESIEL 73')
FW 18. MITOMA Kaoru (on for HASEGAWA 81')
FW 20. CHINEN Kei (on for LEANDRO DAMIAO 81')
MF 22. TACHIBANADA Kento (on for WAKIZAKA 90')
FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro

Goals

KOBAYASHI (Frontale) 42' 0-1
LEANDRO DAMIAO (Frontale) 49' 0-1
HATATE (Frontale) 51' 0-1
KOBAYASHI (Frontale) 53' 0-1
WAKIZAKA (Frontale) 67' 0-1

Highlights

Thursday, 18 March 2021

Vs Vissel Kobe (away) 17/3/21 - J League match 5

 

Vissel Kobe 1 - 1 Kawasaki Frontale


A winning run has once again been cracked away at Kobe. This time it wasn’t quite as much of a disaster as last time but it never feels nice to concede in the 100th minute of a game. Usually these blog posts after a bad result are full of sour grapes. There is some sourness here, but I think there is also an awareness that in my opinion this was just a pretty bad day at the office for us. There has been some soul-searching going on on Twitter regarding what we need to change to get back on track. I'd say it's a bit early to be calling for massive changes. We've had a few mediocre performances recently but had got away with it till now. There's stuff to be done I think, but I'm not going to go off on one at this stage. Here we go with some bullet points.

The pitch -

As usual we seemed to be unable to stay on our feet. This happens every year at Kobe away but we never seem to be able to prepare for it. From the way we were constantly slipping in the first half you would have through that we hadn’t spent 30 minutes warming up on the same turf before the game. Or was there a massive cloudburst in between the warm up and the kick off? Thankfully the chances Kobe got were mainly due to us being awful with the ball rather than slipping over, but as inevitable it is that I moan about refs, it seems I am doomed to repeat the same ‘their pitch is shit’ mantra year after year. Unfortunately it’s not a calming mantra.

The gamesmanship -

Douglas likes to roll around on the floor doesn’t he? Particularly when he’s been tackled by someone who’s on a yellow card. And Kobe do like to protest every single tackle. After our low yellow card count start to the season it was something of a surprise to pick up two in one game. More of a surprise that Kobe’s silver haired defender didn’t get one for booting Damiao out of the way in mid air as he jumped for a header. I also think that when Jesiel was injured we went to hoof the ball up the pitch and out of play to allow him to get treatment. I didn’t see this on DAZN because DAZN is DAZN and doesn’t actually show you what you want to see most of the time. I’m pretty sure Kobe stopped the ball from going into touch, waited for the ref to blow and then didn’t return possession from the drop ball. Given the stage of the game, I’m not surprised. And given that I am only guessing this, I'm not going to moan too much about it. But my intense dislike for FC Tokyo’s SBO stems from him not giving us the ball back when we put it out for an injury against Kashima a few years ago. There was some immediate payback in that game when we won it back and went up the other end and scored. Just saying, if I ever see a replay and I’m right, there might be a new three initial name for a Kobe player. Although that seems a bit harsh for a 'first offence'. SBO had done plenty before to justify the dislike! After last season though, we clearly have a target on our back so shouldn't be surprised if teams use whatever tactics they can to try to disrupt us and score against us.

The ref and VAR -

As I hinted at above, I felt the ref gave us nothing in this game. But then again I would, wouldn't I? Actually, for long periods of the second half he was giving no-one anything and the game seemed to be degenerating into a kicking contest. VAR is still shit. The two decisions both seemed pretty obvious to me from the briefest DAZN replay (of course that’s singular, as once they realized something might be up they stopped showing any replays). Quite how the linesman didn’t spot the first one I don’t know. He didn’t raise his flag at the time or at the end of the move so as far as I know that means he thought it was clearly onside. It was clearly offside for me. Think he got the second one wrong too, didn't he? Maybe that's why we have VAR to stop these inaccuracies but that's a clear case and a very easy sum for the argument that things even themselves out. Both decisions seemed to take an eternity. Both were right, but I blame the extended VAR break for us conceding late in the game. Yes, I know that he wouldn’t have added the extra time if there hadn’t been stoppages. But in the same way that I’m against VAR coming to the right conclusion after interminable delays, I am happy for myself to jump to an illogical conclusion about conceding in added time immediately. Once again we could 'enjoy' the thrill of a delayed VAR goal celebration! Screw VAR and its right decisions, life is full of mistakes. 

The dodgy performances -

We were definitely average in this game. You could have been forgiven for thinking that we had the reserve defenders out as both Taniguchi and Jesiel had some very dodgy moments. Taniguchi lost his man for the goal as well as almost giving Vissel an equaliser a few minutes earlier. All over the pitch we looked tired and out of form. We’ve managed to get 16 points out of 18 but I don’t think anyone would say we’ve been playing exciting stuff in the last few matches. Kobe did a decent job of dealing with our attacks and we once again did a decent job of making glaring errors when it came to shooting. Today’s open goal misser was Damiao who headed wide under not much pressure. It looked like the defender had got to it, but no, he just headed well wide. Damiao’s two 'goal' finishes were nice. I don’t know how the stats work, but if the disallowed goal counts as a shot on target he had both of our shots on target. Two on target out of 13! Oniki seemed to make some kind of tactical change with Hatate in the second half, as he spent a lot of it wandering all over the pitch. I couldn’t work out if we'd gone to three at the back or if he was just wandering. Yamane looks very tired. The other ever present Sung-Ryong had a pretty good game I thought. Can’t really be blamed for the goal and saved us on a few occasions. There definitely seems to be a bit of malaise about us though. Need to sort that out quickly.

Still, it’s been a much better start to the season points wise than we usually get. I hope Oniki shakes things up a little at the weekend against Urawa as we’ve been going through the motions a little recently. Credit to Kobe for doing a job on us. As irritated as I am about us conceding late and the ref not giving certain decisions, I know that I am not impartial and I know that if we hadn’t been so off target for the majority of the game a 100th minute goal conceded wouldn’t have mattered. After the Urawa game on Sunday we have a couple of weeks off which will be nice. But this kind of begs the question of why we have been playing so many games so regularly so far this year. Perhaps they are trying to get games played to prevent future Corona or ACL fixture congestion. But never mind, eh? Pick ourselves up and hopefully we can get three points on Sunday. Go Frontale!


Team

GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
DF 4. JESIEL (Yellow card 35')
DF 5. TANIGUCHI Shogo
DF 47. HATATE Reo
MF 6. JOAO SCHMIDT
MF 25. TANAKA Ao (Yellow card 51')
MF 8. WAKIZAKA Yasuto
FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro
FW 9. LEANDRO DAMIAO
FW 18. MITOMA Kaoru

Subs
GK 27. TANNO Kenta
MF 3. TSUKAGAWA Koki (on for JOAO SCHMIDT 77')
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro (on for HATATE 90')
FW 11. KOBAYASHI Yu (on for LEANDRO DAMIAO 90')
MF 16. HASEGAWA Tatsuya
FW 19. TONO Daiya (on for IENAGA 64')
MF 22. TACHIBANADA Kento (on for WAKIZAKA 77')


Goals

LEANDRO DAMIAO (Frontale) 72' 0-1
KIKUCHI (Kobe) 90+10' 1-1


Highlights 

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Vs Kashiwa Reysol (home) 13/3/21 - J League match 4


Kawasaki Frontale 1 - 0 Kashiwa Reysol 

So, five wins out of five so far! Lovely! What was not lovely was this game. But I guess sooner or later we were going to have a crappy 90 minutes. Actually, maybe that was Wednesday, so this one makes it two in a row. The encouraging thing is that we came away from two pretty poor performances with six points. Can’t get any better than that points wise. We could get a lot better entertainment wise though. But lets not be too picky. Given that I have four days till the next match this could be a detailed and interesting blog post. But there wasn’t really much to work with. So, for consecutive wins with poor performances I present consecutive slapdash poor blog posts. どうぞ, as I heard the ref say on numerous occasions in this game. I’ve never heard that before. Perhaps it was the fact that we were back in the main stand again so perhaps nearer the pitch. Or perhaps it was the fact that there was absolutely nothing exciting to distract me from the joy of listening to the ref. Did I mention this was an awful game? Perhaps I did. Probably will again. Here we go with some bullet points, which will pretty much be the same as the last post’s bullet points, with perhaps the same things said too. But maybe this time a bit more negative.


Line up -


Bit of a surprise with Oniki’s selection this time. Although let's not get too carried away, as it was the same 19 players in the squad as it has been for all but one of our 2021 fixtures. (Yamamura coming in when we switch the centre backs and Chinen coming in briefly when Tsukagawa was injured).DF Previously it seemed like we had an A team and a B team with the former doing most of the heavy lifting and the latter giving the former a rest occasionally. Well kind of, as some players were in both the A and B teams, but you get my drift. In this game Oniki mixed things up creating a C team. Actually, I shouldn't make it sound like a third choice team though, so maybe it would be more accurate to call it an AB team. The A midfield remained intact, the B centre backs came in and the front three was an AB mix. I thought this was kind of exciting before the game, but after watching the match and writing these words it has become clear that it wasn’t actually that much of an exciting experiment. Perhaps more just a snub to Tono. Left back and right back are still the problem positions from the point of view of rotation. Both Yamane and Hatate have started every game and played most of the minutes. When Nobori comes back from injury I guess we have an option at left back but we still are no closer to knowing what might happen at right back in the event of an emergency (or rotation. Emergency probably more likely). And Oniki no longer has Morita to play there either. I would have thought that it would have made sense to start with Damiao in this game, given that the Kashiwa keeper has a reputation for going wandering and making clangers. Super presser Damiao would probably have given him plenty to think about. Also, I would have thought that it might have made more sense to rotate a bit more on Wednesday against newly promoted Tokushima and save the preferred players for Kashiwa. But we didn’t. But we won both games. I’ve got to moan about something though, right?

 
Opposition and game -

Not much to say about Kashiwa in this game. They still seem to like a long ball in spite of the fact that they don’t have Olunga anymore. They had no shots on target, as with Tokushima on Wednesday. Kind of takes the shine off two consecutive clean sheets a bit but they are very welcome all the same. It’s not that surprising seeing as most the game was made up of both teams bringing the ball forward and then losing it. We had our first shot around the 30 minute mark I think. The crowd tried their best to inject a bit of excitement into things by doing that building an attack clapping thing, but more often than not it started as we were due to move out of defence and then we just played the ball along the back line and that was about it. Delightful stuff for those who love pass completion, but not so exciting for those who prefer actual football matches rather than training exercises. It came to my attention that I had been missing the contributions of Wakizaka recently so I made a special effort to watch the game with a focus in him. Wakizaka fans will probably not be so pleased that I chose this game to do so, as it definitely wasn’t his best. I can say that with some confidence even though in previous games I haven’t really noticed him. Definitely not his day. Similarly, Joao Schmidt had game to forget. I’d love to blame the conditions, as we’d had a hell of a lot of rain in they afternoon leading up to the game, but I can’t say it particularly affected things. At least not as far as I was aware. We were just not at the races. The front three were pretty ineffectual too. And Yamane had a below par game too. Perhaps people are getting tired. Which is a bit worrying as we’ve only played 6 games so far this year. The schedule has been relentless though, as it was last year. The weird thing is that we have started the season on time without any major corona virus delays yet. Guess the packed schedule will ease off at some stage, and I fully realise that every team has the same issue, so I'm not trying to moan about it. But we probably need to give some players a bit of a rest. To be honest, both teams in this match were so ‘below average’ that I feel the league should introduce a new scoring system. Three points for a win, one point for a draw, no points for a loss or a draw where both teams are shit. No points for anyone would have been a fair outcome probably. But we did at least score. Thank you to Mitoma for the impact from the bench and the lovely run and to Ienaga for putting the ball in the net. Plenty of payers (including Ienaga himself) have missed easier chances already this year, so it was a relief when this one went in.


Ref and VAR watch -

No VAR again in this game as far as I could tell. And no late flagging from linesmen! I guess it’s no surprise that there was no VAR as VAR is only used for notable incidents and there was nothing notable in this game. I thought the ref was rubbish again though. No bookings in this game for Kashiwa (although of course we got one... Our first of the season surprisingly), and there were definitely some fouls that deserved it. It’s a real shock when not even Kashiwa’s one man card machine Richardson doesn’t get one. The Kashiwa manager was losing his rag over Hatate's throw ins. They did look a bit weird, but they were right in front of the linesman and after Nelsinho had moaned once about them you would have thought the officials would have paid a bit more attention to them so I can only presume they were ok. Perhaps the ref’s performance is best summed by the occasion when the corner flag got knocked out, a player from both teams united to put it back in and then the ref decided to go and check it himself to kill a few seconds and get the camera on him. Maybe Matsuo is looking to take over from Nishimura as the number one attention seeking ref when he retires. I guess his flag checking might have been the reason he added six minutes injury time in a game where nothing had happened. Nice work ref!

Other bits -

No brace in this game. But we still got the dodgy half. Although much like against Tokushima, it was once again two dodgy halves. Great work from the stadium staff to get the pitch sorted as it seemed like the game might be called off after so much rain in the hours before kick off. Jeez, that’s all I’ve got. The game was so dull that there wasn’t even anything for me to make a stupid joke about. Blimey. Oh! There was a rainbow.


Next up, Vissel Kobe away on Wednesday. They messed up a good run for us last year when we played them away in the league. Hope they don’t do that again. After that, Urawa away next weekend. So two away games after a home game heavy start to the season. Perhaps the change of scenery will shake us up a bit. Hope so! Go Frontale!
 

Team
 

GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG 

DF 13. YAMANE Miki

DF 28. YAMAMURA Kazuya
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro

DF 47. HATATE Reo

MF 6. JOAO SCHMIDT
MF 25. TANAKA Ao

MF 8. WAKIZAKA Yasuto (Yellow card 37')

FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro

FW 11. KOBAYASHI Yu

FW 16. HASEGAWA Tatsuya


Subs

GK 27. TANNO Kenta 

MF 3. TSUKAGAWA Koki (on for JOAO SCHMIDT 46')

DF 4. JESIEL

FW 9. LEANDRO DAMIAO (on for KOBAYASHI 64')

FW 18. MITOMA Kaoru (on for HASEGAWA 46')

FW 19. TONO Daiya

MF 22. TACHIBANADA Kento (on for WAKIZAKA 46')

 

My Frontale Man Of The Match


There’s only one person I can think of to give this to and that’s…

HATATE Reo - the only starting player who did anything with the ball when he played it forward. Actually, maybe he was the only player who actually played it forward. Also, felt like he was targeted a bit by Kashiwa but for the most part stood firm.


Goals

IENAGA (Frontale) 80' 1-0


Highlights
 

Thursday, 11 March 2021

Vs Tokushima Vortis (home) 10/3/21 - J League match 3

Kawasaki Frontale 2 - 0 Tokushima Vortis

I normally say something about knocking these blog posts out due to lack of time and keeping things brief. Hopefully, I’ll manage to succeed in doing so this time. Two busy days between games means that I don’t have a lot of time to get this done. So here we go with some briefer than usual bullet points and without imaginative names this time. This is all totally half-arsed.

Line up -

Perhaps Oniki doesn’t like Shikoku and wanted to punish Tokushima but it was something of a shock when you consider that he put out his preferred eleven against Tokushima given the facts that the B team was out against Sendai and scored five and that we have Kashiwa Reysol at home on Saturday. Considering our lacklustre performance in this game, perhaps we should have stuck with the reserves. I’m still worried that we seem to oscillate between mass changes or no changes to the line-up without any apparent middle ground. I'm also concerned what might happen if Yamane were to get injured. Or Sung-Ryong. Players who would be stepping in would have pretty much no experience of playing for us. I could also moan about our subs being quite predictable ,(exactly the same in this game as the Cerezo game, albeit at different times), but I guess it’s not doing us any harm right now. However we have only scored one goal after making changes so it seems that regardless of whoever starts and whoever comes on, we are getting a similar drop in attacking threat after making subs. With the ACL being postponed till June/July, but still with very few details known about what might actually be happening with it, I’d say we have time to prepare a bit more for any misfortune we might encounter later on in the season. Not sure we will do so though.


Oppostion and game -

I was delighted to see Tokushima back in J1 as I’ve never been to their stadium. I was also delighted to see the away fixture is a bit later in the season so hopefully we’ll be able to travel by then. Please don’t let it get re-arranged to a horrible time.  They had drawn their first two games and looked like being a classic kind of banana skin team that we usually struggle against at home. I’m still nor sure if they are or not to be honest. We totally dominated most of the game but only managed six shots on target (one third of our total shots). The fact that they had none of target seems to suggest that we could have got away with not playing Sung-Ryong in this game and giving him a rest. There was an element of good fortune for us or generosity from Tokushima for both of our goals. But that’s not taking anything away from Damiao’s brilliant pressing and nice finishes for both goals and Mitoma’s quick thinking pass for the first. Is it just me, or is Damiao looking a lot more dangerous in a conventional striker kind of way this season? He’s seems quite on it at the moment, and long may that continue. Tokushima definitely seemed to be coming to try and snuff us out with a back four and what seemed like a back three directly in front of them. Clearly this didn’t help them going forward. I’m not sure it particularly worked in stopping us either. It was more just that we weren’t quite on it in this game I felt. I'd like to think that if we were up against it a bit more we might have gone up a gear, but to be honest, it's not like we weren't trying too hard. More like we just weren't really clicking aside from some occasional nice passages of play which more often than not led to nothing. Perhaps I should avoid provoking the irritation of opposition fans too much by moaning about performances when we’ve won four out of four, scoring twelve goals and conceding three. Or perhaps I should do the opposite and stoke that opposition fan ire whilst it is possible as I’m sure they’ll delight in it when we lose our first game.


VAR and ref -

Actually, I don’t think I have anything to write about VAR this week as I don’t think it was used. No complaints about the ref either. I will moan about that stupid late flagging thing again though. One linesman seemed to be doing it and the other wasn’t. It was pleasantly refreshing when the one who wasn’t raised his flag to stop an offside Tokushima attack. It was crushingly inevitable when we finally managed to get a second half shot on target that we’d get a late flag and it would be ruled out. Haven’t seen this decision replayed so no idea if it was right or not but will still get irritated that even when VAR isn’t involved directly we can still have the disappointment of a delayed deflating decision ruining a celebration.

Other bits -

Joao Schmidt is everywhere, and always available for a pass. I think he’s growing into his new role game by game. Very happy! Hatate seems to be getting better and better too. I’d still rather see him up front but can understand how exciting it is to have him and Mitoma on the same side attacking together. And he’s a total legend for being up for playing there. Ao seemed to volley a drop ball in the second half. (DAZN is playing up so I can’t check and see for sure).That was a bit weird. You don’t often see them having to be retaken. There were a lot of backheels in this game. If only our shooting had been as good as our backheeling. Oh, and finally, the run continues of someone getting a brace in every game. And perhaps the other run also continues of us having one dodgy half in every game. But maybe this time it wasn’t quite so dodgy, and also perhaps it was actually two halves that were a bit dodgy rather than one that was more dodgy.


As mentioned above, we have Kashiwa Reysol at home on Saturday at the slightly irritating time of 17:00. From a boozing point of view it really couldn’t be worse timed. Will it be team A or B that appears for us? (A, I reckon). Who will get the two goals? (Dunno, but I really hope it’s one of our players and they are in

the right net). How rubbish will we for one half of the game? (Hopefully not very rubbish and will be amazing for the other half). Go Frontale!


Team

GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG 

DF 13. YAMANE Miki

DF 4. JESIEL
DF 5. TANIGUCHI Shogo

DF 47. HATATE Reo

MF 6. JOAO SCHMIDT
MF 25. TANAKA Ao

MF 8. WAKIZAKA Yasuto

FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro

FW 9. LEANDRO DAMIAO

FW 18. MITOMA Kaoru


Subs

GK 27. TANNO Kenta 

MF 3. TSUKAGAWA Koki (on for JOAO SCHMIDT 64')

DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro

FW 11. KOBAYASHI Yu (on for LEANDRO DAMIAO 64')

MF 16. HASEGAWA Tatsuya (on for MITOMA 80')

FW 19. TONO Daiya (on for IENAGA 80')

MF 22. TACHIBANADA Kento (on for WAKIZAKA 64')

 
My Frontale Man Of The Match
 
Once again, I agree with the official verdict. It's got to go to...

LEANDRO DAMIAO - superb pressing creating both goals for himself with just a little help from a great Mitoma pass. Oh, and he tried another overhead kick,

 
Goals

LEANDRO DAMIAO (Frontale) 12' 1-0
LEANDRO DAMIAO (Frontale) 26' 2-0


Highlights