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BARRY WRITES...  I really should have thought of doing this as soon as highlights became available officially on YouTube a while back. Be...

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Yamagata 0-1 S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

Yamagata 0-1 S-Pulse
---------------------------------------Johnsen 37

Att. 12270

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Our rich vein of form continued against Yamagata with a 1-0 victory up in the mountains. Now unbeaten in eleven, winning seven and drawing four, we climbed up to 2nd, just four points behind the severely faltering Antlers. There are eight games remaining, and as the title race starts to hot up, for the first time in years, we're right up there with a shot.

Our goal came from Johnsen after a pinpoint cross from Hyodo was met by The Big Norwegian. He was able to beat the defender and powered an excellent header into the back of the net which left the keeper no chance. This made up for an achingly close miss by Edamura twenty minutes earlier after an excellently penetrating run down the wing by a resurgent Ichikawa. That itself came not long after Iwashita very nearly added to his four goal tally this season, and it needed an excellent save from the Montedio keeper to deny him.

Yamagata caught us out on more than one occasion and it was far from a walk in the park. The home team have now lost their last four, and are in severe danger of the drop back to J2. Personally I hope they stay up, but they will have to be more decisive in front of goal if they're to manage it. At least twice they should have made more of their chances, and I couldn't help but think against a better team we'd have been punished.

In terms of statistics it was a pretty one-sided match, with 14-3 and 8-3 reflecting shots and corners both heavily in our favour. We face Kobe at home next week, and we'll have to be rather more deadly in front of goal if we want to close the gap on the defending champions further. After that we host Hiroshima, which is shaping up to be a huge game. Our final three games are against pretty tough opposition, so I'm hoping we can take some serious pointage over the next five weeks.

In the big picture this weekend, it was two big surprise results which let us gain ground on the top spot, with both Kashima and Frontale losing in games you would have put money on them winning. Gamba Osaka and Niigata both drew, and on Sunday Hiroshima could only draw with relegation threatened Kashiwa, so we end the weekend two points clear of 3rd with a better goal difference.

In all this chat, let's not forget that Kawasaki have the remaining 16 minutes of their rained off game with Kashima still to play. If they can hold onto their 3-1 lead, Kashima's goal difference will be cut by two, and join S-Pulse on plus 13. The title race is well and truly on!

--------------------

Having just read my own post back, I can't help but notice how measured and calm it all seems. Nothing could be further from the truth - I think the prospect of having a pop at the title is just playing havoc with my nerves! COME ON BOYS - NOW FOR THE FINAL PUSH TOWARDS GLORY!

WE BELIEVE!!!

Line up

GK K. Yamamoto

DF Ichikawa
DF Iwashita
DF Arata
DF Ota

MF Edamura
MF Honda
MF Ito
MF Hyodo

FW Johnsen
FW Okazaki

Subs used

Fujimoto on for Edamura (68)
Paulo on for Okazaki (74)

Videos etc

Full highlights. The yak ends and the action starts at 0:48.



For official club photos, click here (top row). The Rising Sun's review of this, and all other J. League games this weekend, can be found here.

4 comments:

William said...

It's good to hear Johnsen to speak English lol Go S-Pulse!

William said...

I can't help but keep imaging that S-Pulse win the League Championship, Okazaki win the League's best scorer and Johnsen finish top three in scorer standing............ Unbelievable! WE BELIEVE!!!

Endo said...

Hey Barry,

I'll cross my fingers for you guys in at the final days too, because S-Pulse really deserve to win a big title! They're playing great football on a constant level since 2006 (Ok, the first round of 2008 wasn't good, but they kicked ass in the second ;))

So, all the best to our old neighbours in Shizuoka from the Fukuoka-Blog!

Greetings and a warm Ohaiyo gozaimasu from Germany,
Ben
SUPER-Avispa!

Barry said...

William>

I know - I can't help but imagine the party if we were able to sustain our current form and claim the title...

Endo>

Thanks so much for your message of support! Of course, I want with all my being for S-Pulse to win the league this year. It's still Kashima's to lose, though, and Hiroshima are also in great form.

Kawasaki have a hell of a schedule coming up, so whether they can maintain their push remains to be seen.

Either way, it's going to be another gripping end to the season...