FC Tokyo 2-2 S-Pulse
Nagatomo 85 ---------------- Hiraoka 26
Matsushita 87 --------------- Fujimoto 68
M. Yamamoto on for Ono (57)
Ota on for Fujimoto (84)
Nagia on for Johnsen (91)
Right, no beating about the proverbial bush, the truth of the matter is that was a
The travelling thousands
The precise reasons for allowing a team back into a game at 2-0 down with five minutes to go allude a mere mortal like me, but what I do know is as shitty as this was, as gutting as it was to leave with a point when we should have shut the game down and left with all three, we need to learn from it and move on. Shit happens, and we've done exactly the same thing to other teams fairly recently ourselves. Yeah, it's two points lost, blah blah fucking blah, but if you let it, things like this can get on top of you and erode confidence. Hey, I didn't take a module of sport psychology back in 2001 without learning a thing or two. We can get things back on an even keel starting with Yokomari at home next week in the cup.
As for Saturday's good points, well both goals came from set pieces and both were very well taken. Hiraoka's header came from Ono's perfectly weighted ball into the box, and Jungo, who has always been a mean striker of a free kick, swung it over the wall and into the net right in front of us. Up until the 85th minute we'd kept the home team in check for the most part, but just couldn't see it through. I don't why Ono was substituted quite so early and while I don't believe the capitulation was purely down to this (we increased out lead and kept Tokyo at bay for nearly half an hour in his absence), taking our linchpin off before even the hour mark had me scratching my head.
Well, anyway, bollocks. We drew, and that's that. On the bright side, it was my first time in three visits not to leave the grey bowl of the Ajisuta in defeat, and like I mentioned, our nearest rivals both lost. This meant we actually extended our lead at the summit to such that even if Kashima and Frontale win their games in hand it won't be enough to claim top spot from us.
From another angle:
Jungo's freekick which made it 2-0: