Vissel Kobe 0-1 S-Pulse
--------------------------------------------- Brosque 82
DF Iwashita (30)
DF Jong a Pin
Kobayashi on for Takagi (63)
Edamura on for Kawai (63)
Hiraoka on for Franca (90)
A hard fought, and thoroughly earned, first away win since last July. Vissel were the more dangerous from the kick off, but our defence is looking increasingly stingy as the season goes on, and so it was on Saturday. After last year's unpleasantness which led to Jong a Pin's untimely exit, he responded in the best possible way with a commanding performance at centre back.
Many eyes were on new singing Jymmy Franca's first start in Orange, spearheading the attack. It was always going to take some time, and the big man is clearly acclimatising to J. league football. He didn't stop running and his effort doesn't go unnoticed by the fans. He was also unlucky not to have chalked up his first goal, and from what I hear the goal he dispatched one on one past Tokushige was not offside. Yet to see it though, so no comment from me. It was a clinical finish with the keeper making every effort to close him down and make the save, so will only help his confidence, despite it not standing.
The first half was solid defensively, but in what was a more frantic second half the introduction of Kobayashi and Edamura helped us set the pace more in the centre of the park. Edamura was going for everything, and it was his putting pressure on S-Pulse old boy Kazumichi Takagi which caused the defender to spill the ball in the danger zone. Brosque knocked it through to the advanced Eda, and while the keeper got down well he couldn't hold on it.
The Australian was on hand to put it home in front of us lot who, after a quick check of the linesman, went accordingly berserk (including the lads behind me who had been belting out S-Pulse songs all game in broad Kansai accents). Special mention must go to Muramatsu who started the whole move with his strong physical presence on the ball - check it out in the video below.
Another clean sheet, a third win in eight days, the sun is shining and the cherry blossoms are in bloom. Things are hitting pace just in time for the big one this Saturday: the Shizuoka Derby. We've not done them at home since the 5-1, so it's about time we got a result. It's also well overdue that the wheels come off their uncharacteristically good start to the season. Watching them concede a 95th minute equaliser up at Sendai is enjoyable sure enough, and must have been gutting for their small smattering of supporters, but it's a win on Saturday or nothing. Bring it on!!
GOAL! By Brosque.