Kofu 1-2 S-Pulse
Paulinho 42 ------ Ono 29
------------------------ Omae 45 (+1)
MF Muramatsu (yellow 68)
Hiraoka on for Iwashita (HT)
Sugiyama on for Ono (60)
Edamura on for Tsujio (73)
I'm not going to lie - we were fortunate to come away with all three points today. But for two or three heart-stopping, nay STUNNING saves, from Usui, we'd have drawn this. But, you know, it works both ways. If you can't beat a keeper one on one not once but twice, then you don't deserve to equalise.
We got battered for the final 35 minutes having started the second half so well, but could thwart Kofu's attempts for the most part. The couple of times they broke through Usui played a bloody blinder to stop at point blank range certain equalisers.
The first half was better, and Kofu's constant standing off of Bosnar allowed us to push further and further into their half which gave us several good chances. After Ono's stunning strike to open the scoring it was his own sliding tackle on the halfway line (even geniuses make mistakes) which bounced through our back line and let Paulinho in in the 42nd minute. He rounded Usui and stroked it home. Bollocks. But playing right up to the whistle, Genki was on hand, totally unmarked, to volley in a Tsujio cross.
Wednesday we head to Sendai to play a Vegalta team who just lost in the 94th minute to Kashiwa. Three more points and we could reach the heady heights of 5th. Blimey.
Kofu fought with all their power, especially in the second half. They've got some good players and are a dangerous team. Usui made some great saves and our centre backs defended well.
I was really happy to see Sugiyama back after a long injury lay off. I want to congratulate the club doctor and medical staff for working with him for such a long time. I know how good he is, and make no mistake, his return is going to help us as a team."