S-Pulse 0-1 Niigata
--------------------------------- Ishikawa 59
Nihondaira Stadium, Shizuoka
DF Jong a Pin
MF Sugiyama (71)
Kobayashi on for Hattanda (HT)
Takagi on for Kawai (61)
Senuma on for Lee (71)
My ears are still ringing from the woman stood behind me full on SCREAMING each time we went close to scoring. Think the girl in Jurassic Park and you get some idea. With the way things were unfolding on the pitch, it was doing my mood no favours, I can tell you. Maybe a good job we didn't equalise last night, or it would've been goodbye ear drums.
Rather like the away game earlier in the season, we were the only team in it, but lost to a sucker punch. Niigata looked to me like a team happy to play out an end of season mid table clash, but the problem for them is that they're most likely going down to J2. Especially for the first and last 15 minutes of the second half we we all over them. We ever hit the bar, but the last ball just never seemed to find the right man, or rather the man with the space to trouble the keeper. It's important to remember (and hard to forget) that we played 120 minutes just four days before. It all adds up.
Hey, look on the bright side. Urawa got battered so we're still only a point off 3rd. Three games to go, and everything to play for. 10 days off now because of a World Cup qualifying weekend, and the next game sees us home to Gamba Osaka. Around this time last year they sold out the away end as they were in with a (slender) chance of the title. This year they're on the brink of J2, and will be fighting for their lives. Should make for a lively game, and I hope we rise to the occasion.
Some Niigata video, the first few seconds of which shows their goal.
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