Hiroshima 1-1 S-Pulse
Sato 3 (pk) -----------------------Omae 93
GK Nishibe (Yellow 3)
DF Iwashita (Yellow 91)
FW Okazaki (Yellow 35)
Ota on for Arata (69)
Omae on for Hyodo (81)
Tsujio on for Ichikawa (86)
Football is back, and it feels so, so good. And it was an event-filled Saturday for the three of us who trooped over to the S-Pulse Dream House to watch it on the big screen.
Barely three minutes in, a Hiroshima forward goes to ground as Nishibe dives at his feet. Penalty given, striker jumps up celebrating. He steps up to take it aaaaaand.... the signal dies.
Stoyanov, we were able to swing in several decent crosses into the danger zone, though we singularly failed to really test the keeper.
Ono was different class, and he demonstrated the impact he's going to have this season. For his first full game I was very impressed with his touch, awareness and precision. Bosnar was also a presence at the back, and one we're going to benefit from. He was sent up for each of our seven corners along with fellow defender Iwashita. Once we've had a few games to let everyone get used to each other I'm looking forward to what we're capable of.
Speaking of Iwashita, anyone who saw today's game will be amazed how he stayed on the pitch till the end. Entering stoppage time, the hot headed newly-wed pushed a Hiroshima player away with his full palm on the opponent's face. Predictably, the Hiroshima player went down like he'd been shot in the head, but regardless of any making-the-most-of-it, any hand-to-face is a red card right there. The ref reached for his pocket and pulled out... a yellow. Absolutely amazing.
Within seconds of this, and with the clock at 92 minutes, we were up the other end with a final throw of the dice. We were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box, Jungo swung it right into the mix and it was met by substitute Omae Genki for his first league goal. It was no less than we deserved, and on balance 1-1 was a fair result.
Here's the Hiroshima penalty:
And here's our late, late equaliser:
Slightly more extended highlights, including Iwashita's facepalm.