Sunday, 20 December 2020

Vs Kashiwa Reysol (away) 19/12/20 - J League match 34

Kashiwa Reysol 2 - 3 Kawasaki Frontale

This could have been a bit of an anticlimactic finish to the league campaign. Neither side had anything to play for and both teams probably had one eye on their respective cup games coming up soon. So we were probably expecting a bit of a dull affair. But this was actually quite an exiting game. Albeit one that the majority of Frontale fans had to watch on TV as the ever away fan unfriendly Kashiwa supplied us with only 190 tickets for this game. Nevertheless, our support definitely outshone theirs. I say outshone, but I guess what I really mean is out-clapped. Although that suggests that their fans clapped, and judging by the TV coverage’s soundtrack, they didn’t bother. This was to be Kengo’s last J League game, except it wasn’t actually, with him not even making the match day squad. Makes sense I suppose to finish on a high at home rather than in front of a lot of mute people in yellow tabards (no crappy trumpets = no life, or something along those lines....). His non-appearance made a mockery of my pre-match predictions. Neither him nor Mitoma started. Oniki didn’t ring the changes but maybe he nudged the changes. A starting wide forward pairing of Hasegawa and Saito was a surprise. As was Hatate back in the team but in midfield. And Yamamura replacing Taniguchi at the back. But in general, it’s still the same names really so we won’t see any of the other youngsters this year, I guess. Given that I wasn’t at this game I’m going to keep this brief. Here we go.

Mitoma -

He didn’t manage to score and claim the first season scoring record for himself, but he did manage a couple of assists. I was really impressed with the fact that he wasn’t going all out for himself. For our sake, I hope we’ll see more of him next year. For his sake, I guess I should hope that he gets a decent European move, rather than a stupid one. I’d say it makes a lot more sense for him to be playing in J1 than it does to play in the second division of Belgium, Spain or Switzerland. But I would say that wouldn’t I?

Some game stuff -

Olunga did an Olunga and scored. He seems pretty good at using his physicality to barge players out of the way but at the same time goes down quite easily if anyone tries to do the same to him. Gets the job done though, doesn’t he? I'm pleased that Sung-Ryong managed to not get a hand on the ball when he raced out of the box in the first half. Olunga really made the most of the contact though. Maybe that made him so angry that he just felt he had to smash Yamane out of the way for his goal. We looked rubbish at the back again. Their second was an absolute disaster for us defensively. Aside from the two goals though I didn’t think we came too close to conceding. They only had four shots on target apparently. We had a magnificent seven on target, so I guess we’ve put our shooting boots on. There were a few moments though when massive hoofed long balls looked like they might be about to catch us out. Thankfully they didn’t. Thanks to Kashiwa’s keeper for his generosity with the second goal. Really helped to turn the game in our favour. Two lovely finishes by Ienaga, a bit of sitter for Damiao and two nice assists for Mitoma. Job done!

Ref -

Another day, another joke of a ref. I was kind of onside with him for a bit when he was actually booking players. Hasegawa probably deserved his yellow by the letter of the law as he kicked the ball away. Wish Iida had seen one or two of the five or six Kashiwa handballs in and around their area though. One player did it twice in one move. Sadly though, Iida was concentrating more on looking out for people kicking the ball away after the whistle. He did miss it when Olunga did it later though, but maybe he was distracted by wondering how he could give some more decisions Kashiwa’s way. Oh, and he apparently missed Cristiano screaming directly into the linesman’s face about a decision that he clearly got right, Never a good look that, and particularly so in Corona times. Must have been looking the other way for that one. But at least he saw Hasegawa kick the ball away! To be honest though, I’m merely going through the moaning about the ref motions here. They’re all as bad as one another, so by the usual standards of J League refereeing, I guess he had a good game. If by good, we mean utterly useless, but predictably useless.

Other bits -
It was funny when the cameraman or director mistook our Portuguese translator for Oniki and had a good old focus from two different camera angles of him shouting some instructions onto the pitch. I wonder if they were impressed with what they thought was Oniki’s command of Portuguese. Have to say, would be a bit of a surprise if Oniki started studying that particular subject. Nobori going off clutching his shoulder looked a bit dodgy. Thankfully it was for only the last action of the match, but with our next game coming up next weekend, we could be back to the no left back situation again, unless Kurumaya recovers quickly or Nobori’s injury isn’t so bad. Fingers crossed... Oh, and 88 goals scored in 34 games. That's pretty good! Full season round up blog posts coming soon-ish.

Next up, someone at home in the Emperor's Cup next weekend. It will let likely be Blaublitz Akita, who have recently won J3 at a canter. Sure, there’s a gap between the two leagues, but it still looks like a potential banana skin. I imagine the J League is secretly cheering us and Gamba on in the semi finals, as I’m not sure they want a team outside of the top flight entering the ACL next year. That would be a bit weird for everyone I guess. Fingers crossed we can do it then. Do it for Kengo! Go Frontale!


GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG 

DF 13. YAMANE Miki

DF 34. YAMAMURA Kazuya (Yellow card 41')


MF 6. MORITA Hidemasa (Yellow card 90+7)


FW 19. SAITO Manabu


FW 16. HASEGAWA Tatsuya (Yellow card 21')


GK 27. TANNO Kenta 

DF 5. TANIGUCHI Shogo( on for NOBORIZATO 90+7')

MF 8. WAKIZAKA Yasuto (on for HATATE 78')


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

FW 41. IENAGA Akihiro (on for SAITO 46')

My Frontale Man Of The Match
I only watched it on TV so my choice would be even more cliched than usual so I’ll decline this time. 


OLUNGA (Kashiwa) 14' 1-0
SEGAWA (Kashiwa) 46' 2-0
IENAGA (Frontale) 48' 2-1 
LEANDRO DAMIAO (Frontale) 55' 2-2
IENAGA (Frontale) 81' 2-3


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