Guangzhou Evergrande 1 - 1 Kawasaki Frontale
I’ll keep things fairly brief today as this was the first match this season I haven’t seen in person. [Having finished writing it up now, it looks like I was being a bit optimistic about the whole brevity thing...]. I watched it on TV in a pub so can’t really give any insight that anyone else who watched the game on TV couldn't do. Before the game, I’m sure we would have gladly taken this result, but after 90 minutes, or more accurately after the second 45 minutes, 1-1 feels a little bit like a let down. However, we can’t ignore the fact that our first half was pretty bad and that we only managed to get the equaliser in the 96th minute, so maybe the draw was fair after all.
We started the game with a much stronger side than we put out against Eastern. This always looked like being our most difficult group game. The Chinese Super League teams have a lot of money, and whilst Guangzhou’s foreigners are not quite in the same league as the Shanghai teams are (lots of big names and big money signings) they are still the most successful team in the Chinese Super League and are managed by a world cup winning manager. It seemed we must have had a late injury to Tasaka as he was with the squad but didn’t make either the starting line-up or the bench. Also, I think the fact that Chinen was on the bench reinforces this assumption. He’s one for the future, but it seems likely that he was along on the trip to make up the numbers in the event of a last minute injury, seeing as this is his first appearance in any squad this season. Oniki went with Sung-Ryong in goal and a slightly strange back four of Igawa at right back, Taniguchi and Kurumaya in the middle and Nobori at left back. The midfield was Itakura, Neto and Oshima in the more defensive roles and Nakamura, Abe and Kobayashi ahead of them. Today it was Kobayashi’s turn to lead the line, the attacking end of the pitch being shuffled again. On the bench we had Arai, Morimoto, Miyoshi, Hasegawa, Moriya, Chinen and Kano. Quite an attacking bench which probably reflects more on our numerous defensive injuries at the moment rather than being any statement of intent. By the way, what I considered to be the formation differs from what they said on the Frontale website. Guess these things are fairly fluid anyway, but if you want the official word on it, you can check it here.
So, a few days rest and then we’re off to the Ajinomoto stadium for the Tamagawa Classico. Okubo, who has been having a patchy time so far at FC Tokyo will presumably play his first blinder for them and ruin our day, but I hope we can take some of the confidence we have got from a decent result in China into the game. I’d love a repeat of last year’s scoreline, but I’m sure that FC Tokyo, many people’s pick for the title this year will have something to say about that. In any case, I’m sure we’ll give it a go! Go Frontale!
GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG
DF 4. IGAWA YusukeDF 5. TANIGUCHI Shogo (Yellow card 16')
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro
DF 2. NOBORIZATO Kyohei
MF 28. ITAKURA Ko
MF 21. EDUARDO NETO
MF 10. OSHIMA RyotaMF 8. ABE Hiroyuki
MF 14. NAKAMURA Kengo
FW 11. KOBAYASHI Yu
GK 30. ARAI Shota
FW 9. MORIMOTO Takayuki (on for ITAKURA 34')
MF 13. MIYOSHI Koji (on for MORIMOTO 81')MF 16. HASEGAWA Tatsuya (on for IGAWA 60')
MF 19. MORIYA Kentaro
FW 20. CHINEN Kei
MF 25. KANO Kenta
ALAN (Guangzhou) 26' 1-0
KOBAYASHI (Frontale) PEN 90+4' 1-1