S-Pulse 2-3 Kawasaki
Brosque 20 --------------- Inamoto 4
Ono 45 (pen) ------------- Yamase 13
----------------------------------Bosnar (og) 81
----------------------------------Igawa sent off 54
DF Bosnar (Yellow 58)
MF Hiraoka (Yellow 60)
Kobayashi on for Ono (46)
Takagi on for Hiraoka (65)
Nagai on for Omae (80)
What a cock up. After working so hard to get back into the game we blew it despite the man advantage. Was it laziness? Complacency? Or just the underdog rising to the occasion as so often happens? The way I saw it, we just never calmed it down and made Kawasaki cover the extra space. Under the humidity and heat we had half an hour to stroke it around and fatigue the away team, but just couldn't figure it out. They got a bit of luck late on via Bosnar's attempted clearance finding the net and then we fell apart and lost all composure. We ended the game walloping long hopeful balls forward to nowhere.
I hope we learn from this as a team. Fair play to Kawasaki, they totally deserved the win given how they responded to their red card. They created more than us in the second half despite most with the man less. This year is as good a chance as any for them to grab some silverware with the league wide open. I wouldn't begrudge them it for one moment but for one man.
Juninho's diving and play acting reached levels of farce. The man, while a talented player, is at times an embarrassment to watch. Can you imagine a game where all players were Juninho? It would resemble an undulating ocean of 22 bodies falling over dramatically then springing up when the freekick isn't given. The pitch would be a blur of outstretched arms and pleading eyes appealing emotively to the referee, and the game would be abandoned after five minutes as everyone gets sent off either for their constant "fouling" of Juninho (ie, every time they went within touching distance of a Juninho), or, if the referee isn't a complete simpleton, for play acting. Thank God there's only one of him, but even one man flailing around like a fairy is too many.
Onwards and upwards! Home to the only undefeated team in the country on Sunday - Vegalta Sendai. There seems to be the sentiment running through some websites that they are getting the benefit of some very sympathetic refereeing this season, so I'll take my very best ref berating voice with me up to Daira on Sunday evening.
We started badly, especially the opening 20 minutes. We were always slow, a metre off the pace. And that's why we were 2-0 behind at home. But we responded magnificently and could get two goals of our own, and before half time we had a chance to take the lead.
We started the second half well, but after Kawasaki had a man sent off we didn't use that to our advantage. With a man extra I hoped we would have used the space of the pitch, and passed the ball around. Kawasaki gained courage after their red card and we got complacent and lacked motivation.
The referee influenced the game too much. Takagi's shot which hit the bar was the turning point. The hardest thing to take about this game is not the result but the fact we couldn't control the game in the second half. Even at 3-2 we had time, but we just started throwing long balls forward, and maybe that was a result of the players' frustration and tiredness.
Alex's header from Ota's cross to grab our first of the night.
Some Kawasaki highlights showing Takahara going down veeeeeery easily for the red card, and also that their third was an own goal by our boy Bosnar. It's not clear it was a shot or even if it was on target before Eddy tried to clear it. How on earth it can be credited to Kobayashi is a mystery to me.