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Sunday, 24 June 2012

S-Pulse 1-1 Tosu

Barry Barry writes

S-Pulse 1-1 Tosu
Omae 25 (PK) ------------ Ikda 56

Att. 17696

Line Up

GK Hayashi

DF Yoshida
DF Hiraoka
DF Jong a Pin
DF Lee

MF Muramatsu
MF Sugiyama
MF Kawai

FW Omae
FW Takahara
FW Takagi

Subs Used

Ono on for Takagi (61)
Brosque on for Takahara (73)
Shirasaki on for Muramatsu (79)   


Once in a while I like to take a break from the samba-infused craziness behind the goal and watch from the reserved seats on the side. It's a completely different experience, not least the time you get to concentrate on the game, and the fact you don't have to turn up four hours before kick off to secure your favourite seat. Can see myself graduating to the side stand one day. Not just yet, though. 

Depending on how you look at it, Saturday extended our unbeaten run at home, or was our fifth game without a win. Both is true, but the latter was the one felt most keenly. Tosu are a very hard team to beat, and anyone expecting a pushover was 1) ill informed, and 2) in for a surprise.

Very unsurprising to this viewer was Sagan's physical strength and hard work. They are organised and watching them live it's easy to see why they've established themselves as a J1 team. Unlike Sapporo who finished just one point behind them last year (so far this season: P15 W1 D1 L13), they will certainly be around in the top flight next year.

Following a start which didn't really allow us to play our game, we took the lead after a needless handling in the area brought a spot kick. Genki duly converted for S-Pulse's 999th league goal, and settled some of the nerves around a near sold out Nihondaira.

I should say here that maybe it was just the hope of all concerned to see our 1000th goal on home soil, but the weight of expectation was tangible and surely must be felt by the players. I certainly sensed it and it just added to the nerves. At 1-0 you're never save, and so it proved. "Good for Tosu! They've come such a long way!" came the analysis from my right hand side when the visitors pulled level. That's what you get when you take someone along for only their second game in a decade. It was ultimately a goal from a mistake, but on balance you couldn't begrudge them it.

When Ono and Brosque came on we were re-energised with a flurry of attacking in the final third (of the pitch and game), but we lacked that little bit of luck, and with such dogged defenders such as Tosu (along with us and league leaders Sendai, Tosu have conceded the second least of anyone in J1) it was always going to be a mission.

So another draw but no need to panic. We're not playing badly, just going through a bit of a dry spell. Next week it's off to Omiya who found their own defensive feet away at high flying Hiroshima with a 0-0 draw. A win could see us right back in the running, but before that, up to Kashima in a league cup dead rubber. We're both already through to the next round, so expect some youth and experimentation.

 Kick off
 Home end
View from the expensive seats
Decent support from Tosu


Personal vid of our first, Genki's penalty, from handball to spot kick.

Tosu's goal taken off the TV by someone.


DJ Dog Bite said...

Stumbled across your blog after an S-Pulse-related mishap.

While eating in a Korean-run Japanese restaurant in rural California, they suddenly started showing the match v. Niigata on the big screen. Despite the fact it was recorded, I banged the table and screamed at the TV when I saw S-Pulse were losing. I scared the owner's wife so bad that she started screaming and ran out of the restaurant.

I kindly explained to them that if they play such a thing on the TV, they must expect such a reaction as the Pulse of Shimizu/Shizuoka races through my veins, and the team was off to such a great start this season.

Barry said...

Welcome to the site, mate! Funny story, and one I can totally relate to. :)

Yeah, going through a bit of a dry patch right now. But we're mostly free of major injuries so it's just a matter of time!