Kawasaki 0-0 S-Pulse
DF Bosnar (24 yellow)
MF Ono (11 yellow)
Johnsen on for Yamamoto (70)
Takaki on for Tsujio (78)
Ito on for Fujimoto (84)
After a combination of Google Earth's Street View research and blind luck on the trains I arrived at Kawasaki's Todoroki Stadium in plenty of time for Saturday's early kick off. I wasn't alone, as hundreds of S-Pulse came up for this contest between two teams who will surely be in the upper reaches of the table come December.
It took a while for the chances to start coming, and Fujimoto drew a fine save out of the Kawasaki keeper from a free kick, but even when both teams found their shooting boots, real goal scoring chances were still pretty few and far between. Kawasaki's Renatinho was diving around at every opportunity and I'm sad to report the referee was getting played hook, line and sinker. He even succeeded in getting a yellow card awarded to Bosnar after launching himself in the air at the Aussie's challenge. Oh, well. Such is life, and players will keep trying it all the time the refs can't do their jobs properly.
Despite the early yellow, Bosnar wasn't put off his game and was instrumental in our defence keeping a third clean sheet of the season. The big man had an excellent game. Ono too, despite getting several knocks throughout the game, was different class and everything was channelled though him, though he picked up another yellow. He does like a a good chat with the ref, of that we've come to see. If he can remain injury free he's going to have a huge say in where we end up at the end of the year.
The game ebbed and flowed, with each team trying hard to carve routes through each other. Not a great deal of success was had, and our one or two shooting chances were blasted wide (Hyodo and Johnsen, and Ito at the death). As the clock started ticking down things seemed to kick up a notch as both teams went for the killer punch, but nothing was doing and the whistle went at 0-0.
So all told, a draw was probably fair, and a draw away at Kawasaki was no bad result. It certainly didn't leave me spitting fire like last year's injury time free kick dodgyness. We're proving a hard team to score against which is a very good thing. Next up is Shonan Bellmare in the Nabisco Cup on Wednesday in a chance to get our cup campaign off to a winning start.
The final three minutes from a personal cam:
Our travelling hordes did us proud as ever: