Shonan Bellmare 0 - 1 Kawasaki Frontale
How am I going to write a blog post about this? This was a pretty dull 90 minutes of football with an all round lack of quality from both teams and not many incidents to talk about. Guess it’s going to be another quick post. After scraping our way to a win against local rivals Yokohama FC on Wednesday we might have been hoping to get back firing again against the league’s bottom team. Sadly we didn’t, but I guess we did just about enough to get the three points. We had a massive four shots on target in this game. Thankfully they only had one. Those two stats should probably tell you everything you need to know about this game. The cliche goes that in a local derby the form book goes out of the window, and it kind of did here, even if the result went the way people would expect. Our race to 100 league goals has hit a bump in the road in a game we might have hoped to get a few goals in. At least we got a clean sheet though and now have the best defensive record in the league. That’s not to say that Shonan didn’t threaten. We were hanging on at the end, unable to get the ball and when we were gifted it, unable to keep hold of it. Perhaps the conditions didn’t help with a pretty soggy pitch holding the ball up a bit but let’s be honest, the pitch didn’t make us pass the ball around aimlessly and endlessly for the majority of the game. Right up until we gave it away. Again and again. Credit to Shonan, they got a much better result against us than other teams further up the table have, but I wonder if maybe that was more down to us than them. The good news is we now have a free Wednesday and a chance to rest before next weekend’s crucial away game against Cerezo Osaka. Not sure it’s a six pointer quite yet as we still have a handsome lead, but if they were to beat us (and judging by our recent results at their place it’s really not out of the question), it would give them a great boost and give us a great kick in the guts/nuts (delete as per your preference).
So what else is there to talk about? Not much. Kurumaya was maybe a bit unlucky to get withdrawn at half time but I’m pleased to see that Oniki has learnt his lesson after not withdrawing Oshima against Nagoya in the Levain cup with him then going on to pick up a second yellow and therefore a red. I wouldn’t have liked to see us trying to hang on to our lead with 10 men. No complaints about the booking though. Although saying that, I think Shonan players got away with not being booked for similar fouls. Guess Iemoto was ‘letting the game flow’. Mitoma’s introduction came a little later than expected and he started pretty brightly with some nice dribbles. But he did fade after about 15 minutes which is again a bit of a worry. Where’s his mojo gone? I was hoping this would have been a good game for him to find some form but it didn’t happen. Our goal was quite a nice one, which is a relief given that if it was a rotten one I think we’d all be struggling to find some justification for spending two hours watching this. It was definitely the only bright spark in a pretty dull evening though. But winning ugly is an important part of winning the league so we need to be able to do that if we want to win the title. I’m struggling… is there anything else to say? I don’t think so. Three points in the bag, let’s move on to the next game and forget about this one.
As I mentioned above, that will be Cerezo away next Saturday. A good result there will be a big step towards something nice. After that it’s FC Tokyo at home on the 7th of October in the Levain Cup. Fingers crossed for both of those games. I’d definitely take another couple of very dull victories. Would be nice to do something a but more exciting though, wouldn’t it? Fingers crossed. Go Frontale!
GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
DF 4. JESIEL
DF 5. TANIGUCHI Shogo
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro (Yellow card 16')
MF 6. MORITA Hidemasa
MF 8. WAKIZAKA Yasuto
MF 25. TANAKA Ao
FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro
FW 11. KOBAYASHI Yu
FW 30. HATATE Reo
GK 27. TANNO Kenta
DF 2. NOBORIZATO Kyohei (on for KURUMAYA 46')
FW 9. LEANDRO DAMIAO (on for IENAGA 82')
FW 18. MITOMA Kaoru (on for WAKIZAKA 62')
FW 19. SAITO Manabu (on for HATATE 82')
FW 20. MIYASHIRO Taisei (on for KOBAYASHI 75')
MF 22. SHIMODA Hokuto