Vissel Kobe 0 - 1 Kawasaki Frontale
As we’re on the road at the moment, (and when I say we, I mean me and my wife not Frontale but that applies too. The reason I specified this is that some people get annoyed when fans refer to their team as we. Must remember to say we in that respect many more times in this blog post in order to irritate the kind of people that find it annoying), this is going to be another truncated blog post, with the details and the highlights added when I’m in front of a computer again. Here you’ll get just some general feelings put down before I forget them. What a win! Well, maybe that should read what a stroke of luck to get that win. A lot is said about luck in football. Oniki is clearly a lucky manager. And based on this game, Vissel Kobe in 2022 are an unlucky team. This game really should have finished 0-0, as both teams had semi-decent chances but both were found lacking in front of goal. Once again we had the lion’s share of the possession, but once again I’ll say that doesn’t mean anything. All that matters is the fact that we won, even if it was with seconds to spare and came from a Taniguchi goal, a player who really hadn’t had the best of games. Delighted he got his goal though, not just for us (I’m talking about Frontale here, so that’s the first ‘us’ or ‘we’ designed to irritate, in case you didn’t notice), but also for him. In the past I have moaned a bit about him, but aside from the Cerezo game, I think he’s had a really good season so far. We’ve somehow managed to go back to the top of the league. In the game that was being played at the same time as this one in Saitama, perhaps Frontale fans might have found themselves in the strange position of wanting Urawa to win. Sadly they couldn’t, but a late equaliser sealing a comeback from 3-0 down against the Yokohama sailors is good enough for me! Hopefully it will give them plenty of confidence going into their game this weekend against Kashima. It’s not often that I want Urawa to win two games in a row, but that’s definitely the case. Possibly this feeling will expire at the end of the weekend.
So yeah, we weren’t great again, but we did win. Kobe’s pitch wasn’t awful! Bit of a revelation. And I have to say that strolling around the city centre before the game, I think I have been a bit mean to the city of Kobe in the past. It was very nice. Perhaps my feelings were swayed by their extremely unlikeable (for rival fans) football team and the absolute lack of decent beer options in the city if you don’t want to drink macro stuff. For such a big city, and with such an air of upmarket sophistication, it’s a bit of a surprise that they have so few craft beer bars in town. However we found a couple of places, and Taniguchi’s goal gave us a lovely lift as we made our way to Kobe Minato Brewing for post game refreshment. I would suggest you all check it out, but as the place is pretty small, I hope you check it on a day that we’re not trying to go there. More niceness on this blog post to Vissel Kobe comes in the form of praising *some* of their stadium music. There was a kind of Northern Soul thing going on before the game which was very surprising. But then Kobe’s keeper became the guest DJ and selected an absolute turd of a song which ruined things a bit. Then we moved on to generic pop-punk. It was nice though that we were able to exit the stadium on an absolute high after stealing a win with a soundtrack of Teenage Fanclub. I realise this is all a bit niche and maybe you don’t care about it or have different musical preferences, but this old fart had quite a fun time.
Quick bit of football talk. Oniki went with the same starters and bench but really shook things up by taking off Tachibanada instead of Ienaga in the last few minutes. Other than that, everything was the same. Equally similar was our quick breaks which deteriorated into a backward pass as the quick break was too quick for both the opposition and our own players. On this occasion it was particularly annoying though, as Vissel were irritatingly organised when it came getting players back in numbers to defend. Quite why we were slowing down our attacks to allow them to do so, I don’t know. And quite what Oniki said in his half time team talk, I also don’t know. We were doing alright in the first half and then in the second, raced out of the traps, missed a good chance and then totally fell to pieces. But anyway, we won! The ref for this game Sato was on a ‘no cards’ tip which probably worked in our favour on a few occasions so I won’t moan about it. He did seem a bit flaky though. My annoyance at him was probably primarily due to our own inadequacies though.
So all in all, this was a kind of exciting game with little overall quality, but with a great finish that really gave us all a lift! Somehow, we’ve gone back to the top of the league after winning a notorious bogey game for us. Next up, another notorious bogey game… away at Sagan Tosu on Saturday. I’m slowly making my way there. Go me! Go Frontale! Go us!
GK 1. Sung-Ryong JUNG
DF 13. YAMANE Miki
DF 5. TANIGUCHI Shogo
DF 15. SASAKI Asahi
DF 7. KURUMAYA Shintaro
MF 8. TACHIBANADA Kento
MF 14. WAKIZAKA Yasuto
MF 19. TONO DaiyaFW 41. IENAGA Akihiro
FW 9. LEANDRO DAMIAO
FW 23. MARCINHO
GK 27. TANNO Kenta
MF 6. JOAO SCHMIDT (on for TONO 63')
FW 11. KOBAYASHI Yu (on for WAKIZAKA 75')
MF 17. KOZUKA Kazuki (on for TACHIBANADA 85')
FW 24. MIYAGI Ten (on for MARCINHO 75')
FW 20. CHINEN Kei (on for LEANDRO DAMIAO 63')
DF 31. YAMAMURA Kazuya
TANIGUCHI (Frontale) 90+2' 0-1