Thursday 3 September 2020

Vs Vissel Kobe (away) 2/9/20 - Levain Cup, quarter final

Vissel Kobe 0 - 6 Kawasaki Frontale

Let’s not mess around with a long post on this game. It was unbelievably one-sided and most of the usual moans I have about Vissel Kobe were all taken care of in last week’s post about the league game against them. I do however feel the need to remind them of their recent slogan ‘the #1 team in Asia’ or something like that. I’m sure this will all come back to bite me when we play them in the league next Wednesday, (thankfully the last time we’ll have to play them on a Wednesday this year). All I can say is that I hope that game goes more like this one did than last week’s league game did. Kobe will certainly be up for revenge, but in our favour will be the fact that we won’t have to play on that awful pitch they have. I counted players slipping over in the first half and got to 16 only watching the players near the ball. It was probably fewer than I expected, but at the same time has to be proof that their pitch is an absolute joke and I don’t know how they have to cheek to sign Iniesta and then ask him to play on that. So, let’s get this over and done with in a few brief points in one paragraph, apparently thrown together haphazardly. Nice!

Manabu scored! We were delighted and so was he it seemed. He played the whole game with a smile on his face and his previous run out against Shimizu seems to have done him the world of good. In that game he seemed a little rusty, but in this game he was constantly running and threatening,  scored a beauty, and set up Miyashiro for his first career goal for us. Which is my second point actually. I’ll take some credit for that goal as when he came on I went and got my Miyashiro towel out and then he scored. You’re welcome! Hopefully that goal will give him plenty of confidence. Kobe were a total mess at the back. Long may that continue. You have to give us some credit for our pressing which they really couldn’t deal with and which helped bring on their ridiculous sloppiness. Hopefully Iikura will play next week too and hopefully he hasn’t used up all of his gaffes in this game. Oniki finally did a big old shuffle in the midfield and played Ienaga, Oshima and Morita. Nice to see that we now have real rotation there as well. And it seems that there are plenty of players who can play in those positions now. Jesiel was a beast in this game. I guess Oniki had instructed him to race up to the half way line and get the ball off Furuhashi every time they passed it to him. He did this perfectly. A certain Kansai based tweeter seemed to think that we were fouling a lot and thought the ref had a nightmare. I thought the total opposite on the former but agreed about the ref who I thought gave them way too many fouls for challenges from us which involved little to no contact. But this is the beauty of football in that two people watching the same game can have such contrasting opinions. Furuhashi has done nothing to rise up in my estimation. Sure he can play well and is apparently a nice guy, but this game has proved again that he’s an incorrigible diver. A trait he shares with plenty of other Vissel players I thought. Although perhaps they weren’t diving, they were probably getting their feet caught in the awful turf. The fake crowd noise pumped in was pretty funny in this game. I wanted to make the joke about the Kobe fans being in good voice despite the scoreline but I think I did a variation on that last week and don’t want to repeat myself too much. And finally, this week’s stupid observation is that Iikura reminds me of the Microsoft Word assistant Clippy, in that when the ball was in the centre circle with either team in possession he’d often bounce into the picture at the side of the screen, apparently randomly and for no apparent reason. Let’s hope Clippy doesn’t get dropped for next Wednesday.

Yeah, maybe I’ve gone a little overboard with the Kobe bashing in this post and perhaps you wanted to hear descriptions of the lovely goals by Kobayashi (x2), Manabu, Ienaga, Wakizaka and Miyashiro. But you can see them on the highlights video. We’ve scored six unanswered goals to progress to a cup semi-final and it was against a moneybags team who seem to still be failing to buy the league. Delightful! Perhaps this kind of anti-big-bucks-football mindset has come from me spending years supporting Leyton Orient and also Frontale in the lean years, but it’s great to see someone splash the cash, and splash it so carelessly that they appear to be making their team worse rather than better. I will have major egg on my face if they beat us next week, so please let our luck continue till then. That would also mean that our luck had endured through this weekend’s potentially tough game against Yokohama F Marinos who we could really do with getting some revenge against. We never seem to quite have enough to get over the line when we play them away so hopefully we can buck that trend this weekend and send them a message. Fingers crossed. Go Frontale!


GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG 

DF 13. YAMANE Miki 




MF 6. MORITA Hidemasa

MF 10. OSHIMA Ryota 

MF 41. IENAGA Akihiro 



FW 19. SAITO Manabu


GK 27. TANNO Kenta 

DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro (on for NOBORIZATO 80') 

MF 8. WAKIZAKA Yasuto (on for OSHIMA 70') 


FW 18. MITOMA Kaoru (on for HATATE 60') 

FW 20. MIYASHIRO Taisei (on for KOBAYASHI 80') 

MF 25. TANAKA Ao (on for IENAGA 70') 

My Frontale Man Of The Match

Perhaps random selection today when we scored so many goals. Would love to give it to Manabu but I think it has to go to….

JESIEL - the constant pressing of Furuhashi was awesome, stopping their attacks before they could start and completely destroying any momentum they had. A changed man from last week in the same stadium! Wonderful!


KOBAYASHI (Frontale) 7' 0-1
KOBAYASHI (Frontale) 13' 0-2
SAITO (Frontale) 21' 0-3
IENAGA (Frontale) 46' 0-4
WAKIZAKA (Frontale) 72' 0-5
MIYASHIRO (Frontale) 87' 0-6


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