Well, I'd have preferred this scoreline last November, but beggars can't be choosers!
It was a vastly changed starting 11 from Kenta as he continues to search for the best combination. Nishibe was out, and replaced by the safe hands of Kaito. He showed time and again how he can come out with confidence and stamp his authority all over the penalty area. He can also do something Nishibe can't seem able to manage, and that's catch the thing. See Jubilo's opener on Black Sunday for a perfect example of the sort of mistake you don't see Kaito making.
In the back saw Ota making his first start, and while he made one or two sloppy errors in judgement, for his début he looked eager and hard working. He was harassing the Oita midfield with steaming runs up the wing, and I'm looking forward to more from him. Okazaki started in midfield along with Edamura, Hyodo and Yamamoto, with Hara and Johnsen up front.
Jubilo 2-6 Yamagata anyone? :-D - we should have what it takes to claim all three points and take a huge step towards qualification to the next round. With such a hectic schedule of late, we can expect to see the likes of Jungo, Nagai, Paulo and perhaps even Tsujio start, all of who were rested against Oita.
GK K. Yamamoto
MF M. Yamamoto
Hiraoka on for Iwashita (63)
Ito on for Hara (77)
Paulo on for Hyodo (91)
Iwashita's opener on 14 minutes:
Johnsen's first. 17 minutes:
Oita pull one back on 37 minutes:
Johnsen's second on 74 minutes:
Loco Loco celebrations after the whistle.
Read The Rising Sun's report here, and click here for Mike Tuckerman's take on events which, I'm sad to report, will be his last from Nihondaira for the foreseeable future. Good luck fella, and if you're ever back in town, drop me a line!