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Sunday, 14 September 2008

Another Glorious Victory - S-Pa 3-1 Sapporo

Hot on the heels of last week's semi final thriller we played Sapporo Consadole yesterday in front of just over 15 000 and to be fair, a decent support from Sapporo especially when one considers the distance.

Before the match the sun was splitting the trees and as I walked up the hill towards the glory that is Nihondaira Stadium, I found myself wondering if I should have put sun screen on. It all seemed light years away as the rain pelted down on us in the second half!

Sapporo sportingly brought their mascot down with them, Dore-Kun, and he joined in the Pal Chan show, with considerable flair, it has to be said - Grampus Kun was cute, but he can't really dance!
Moving on to the game, it started off much the same as the rest of the season, with the Pulse looking strong and having plenty of chances, but no ball in the back of the net. Just as I was starting to get frustrated and wonder if the recent practice of scoring goals had become unfashionable again, Edamura rescued me and gave us the 1-0 lead we deserved going into half time.

The second half was much the same, except that it started raining and we were all getting wet. The chances kept coming and Oka-chan "got the goal" with 62 minutes on the clock. Sapporo had a few corners, but with Kaito in goal there was a little room to relax - surely he wouldn't drop the ball at an inopportune moment, or fall over his own feet, or.... well, you know. Its not that I don't like Nishibe, I think he can be fantastic on occasion and has pulled off some stellar saves, it's just that they tend to be followed by some tremendous cock-up.

Nishizawa upped it to 3-0 at 78, and it was the icing on the cake for the party behind the goals. There had been a couple of goal worthy attempts since Oka-chan's, and it was good to see the ball bouncing off the net once more. Just before it, the UK Ultras team had been laughing at some of the missed shots - just goes to show what being 2-0 up does for you, usually we would all be screaming with frustration as the ball soared wide or is passed to the invisible man, but yesterday it was amusing.

There was a sneaky last minute consolation for Consadole, but it and the weather couldn't have upset our parade - wet, bouncing and happy, we prepared for dancing girls and some ロコロコ action. Even Pal-chan broke free from his minder and ran out (skidding on wet) to give us three victory cartwheels when he knows he's not allowed out to play in the rain, and was told off on his way back, but that's why we love him!
last minute action

Oh yes, and we have our cup final tickets, and I for one am grateful to the Ultras who went and fetched them this morning. It's gonna be one hell of a day, and with a few more scorelines like this one, I reckon we'll even manage to finish in the top half of the table.

Match highlights: