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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

S-Pulse 2-1 Yamagata

BarryBarry writes:

S-Pulse 2-1 Yamagata
Takahara 68 ----\\\------ Okubo 88 (pen)
Brosque 94 (pen)

Att. 10745

Line Up

GK Usui

DF Tsujio
DF Iwashita (Yellow 26)
DF Bosnar
DF Ota

MF Ono
MF Hiraoka
MF Brosque

FW Omae
FW Takahara
FW Takagi

Subs Used

Kobayashi on for Omae (58)
Edamura on for Ono (68)
Nagai on for Hiraoka (89)


Blimey O'Reilly. Not good for the nerves in any way, and not something that can sugarcoat an otherwise below par performance, but an ending to the game to blow away some of the cobwebs that may have recently gathered around the stands of Nihondaira. When Alex calmly stroked his 94th minute penalty home the place simply exploded.

We've all seen endings to games like this before. Or rather we've seen them up to the late, late equaliser and then the frantic attacking of the conceding team. More often than not it leads to nought by frustration, but last night, deep in injury time, a needless grasping of Takahara's shirt while he jumped for a header meant penalty number three - this time for the home team. It was a soft penalty, but then I'm struggling to remember the last time I saw one that wasn't. You just don't don't see clattering "professional" fouls anymore, which is something of a shame, if I'm honest. :)
A first half stoppage time penalty which had to be retaken (and then Usui saved it)

Yamagata should stay up this year. I hope they do. If they can avoid major injuries and play with the fight they showed in this game then they will. Until we scored, and especially in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, we were struggling to deal with them. Their first penalty, in first half stoppage time, was finely saved after it was made to be retaken by Usui, and this no doubt changed the game.

Edamura was brought on in the 68th minute to create different options in the centre and to allow Alex to move further forward. The effects were immediate. A fine passing move from defence to attack ended in a brilliant run by Ota into the danger zone. He played it across the six yard box to Takahara who knocked in the easiest goal of his career. He's on four for the season and since he's been playing centre forward looks like scoring most games. Great to see him proving some of the doubters wrong. The best is still yet to come I don't doubt.
The moment our penalty was awarded

So yep, job done after a fashion, but three points is what counts. Saturday is off to Saitama for Takahara's old (if short lived) stomping ground. I know he'll be wanting to exorcise some of the memories of his time at the SaiSuta. A period when Urawa should have been building off of national and continental titles but were instead imploding spectacularly on and off the pitch. Not a surprise he couldn't perform under those circumstances. The poor fella as good as ran from Saitama at the first opportunity, and now playing in his old back yard in a stable environment he's showing what he can still do. Another couple on Saturday please mate!
Ghotbi and friend

Ghotbi Says

Translated from the Japanese back to English by me. Any mistakes are my own.

"It was a really interesting game. Yamagata fought from start to finish. Especially up to the hour mark we were finding it hard to play our own game against their strong physical style. However, after the hour we were able to start playing our own high paced passing game using space well and scored a great goal.

After our goal we were able to control the game. But we couldn't convert our chances and Yamagata got a penalty, but after the equalising goal we showed great spirit to bounce back. Putting Nagai on mean we had two up front, and if you include the wingers, four. In that formation we could put pressure on Yamagata, create chances and ultimately forced a penalty.

It was a really exciting last half hour for the fans. I was delighted to see the supporters' happy faces at the end. Nihondaira is a special place."


Yet to find full highlights, so here's a few personal videos which tell the story. First, Yamagata's spot kick at the end of the first half. The first attempt was called back for encroachment. Call me a big softy, but seeing how happy the Yamagata fans are when the first kick goes in, I can't help feeling like a dick given the manner in which we beat them.

Taking the lead by way of Bosnar -> Ota -> Edamura -> Ota -> Takahara -> GOAL. Takahara at .40 makes me go :))))

Yamgata get a penalty in the 88th minute and Okubo makes no mistake.

Finally, our last gasp penalty:


Yujiro said...

It seems that I definitely missed the climax of the game. Takahara is in good condition. He will become the target of the loud booing this weekend at Urawa :D

Barry said...

He answered any booing perfectly! What a brilliant header!