S-Pulse 2-1 Hiroshima
Brosque 9 ----------------- Chiba 87
DF Iwashita (63)
DF Jong a Pin (70)
DF Lee (83)
MF Muramatsu (40)
FW Brosque (62)
Takahara on for Ono (59)
Kobayashi on for Kawai (77)
Franca on for Takagi (86)
Horrible weather. Really, really horrible weather. But the first 20 minutes went some way to warming us up. We started great and Hiroshima didn't get a sniff for a lot of the first half. It only took ten minutes for the possession and pressure to pay off. Brosque, running back onside from a previous attack was in the fortuitous position of being able to slot home a rebounded save from Takagi's effort.
We coped much better with the slippery conditions than the visitors, and with Ono's midfield marshalling and Omae's creativity we were the far more threatening.
We had the same back four as last week. Lee, Jong a Pin, Iwashita and Yoshida. Ota is not so far being missed. Lee tired as the game went on, but he's proving a good signing. As is Yoshida. He showed moments of real class in defence, and both him and Lee are very industrious in pressing up field. Iwashita was solid, and Jong a Pin was a very big presence. I'm liking him as centre back. Liking him a lot.
Shortly after the break, Takagi worked himself free and was on hand to steer home Genki's cross that neither the defenders nor Brosque connected with. Omae's stampeding run forward went undealt with by Sanfrecce, and his ball into the danger zone was picked up by Toshiyuki. It was far from an easy job to put it home, being closed down as he was by three defenders, but twinkle toes kept his nerve and doubled the lead from the edge of the area.
The last twenty minutes were mostly Hiroshima's as they pushed to try and get back in the game, but Kobayashi's introduction helped steady the ship. Despite that, and despite Hayashi at one point denying Sanfrecce with a stunning save to push the ball round for a corner, they found the net with 3 minutes to go. It set up a nervy end, but we closed out the game without Hiroshima going close to equalising.
A crucial result bouncing back from last week's not especially deserved defeat. Away to the champions next week will be a whole different test. That said, in Saitama yesterday Kashiwa were the victims of a giant killing losing to last season's 15th placed weaklings Urawa, so their confidence must have taken a harsh knock. It's as good a time to play them as any, and if we can keep it organised there's no reason we can't get a result. Looking forward to it!
While I'm here, here's a link to all the J1 goals from yesterday in not especially high quality. Hey, it's free. :)
Brosque's opener (personal cam).
Takagi's goal in slow motion.