Urawa Red Diamonds 0-1 Shimizu S-Pulse
------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bare 64
Saitama Stadium, Saitama City
April 27th 2013
DF Lee ki-Je (52)
MF Mutamatsu (77)
Ishige on Takagi (62)
Takagi on for Kawai (82)
Hiroi on for Takeuchi (90)
Boy, I was suffering this morning, but it was a sore head well earned. A classic away day in the spring sunshine, with good friends, good beer and most important of all, the right result. Awesome April came to a close with a 1-0 away win in Saitama, and it caps a month undefeated in all competitions. Just what we needed after March.
The stats tell the story, with the home team superior in possession and chances, but we did the job. Former Omiya forward Bare (one more reason for Urawa to boo him) is really finding his feet with a fourth goal in a week, and his third game running. His goal in the 64th minute was a display of strength as he shrugged off the defender's attempts and deftly played the ball home.
Rightfully labelled dull last year, Urawa were an entirely different prospect this time around. They were far more willing to take the game to us. No sitting back and absorbing S-Pulse possession for long stretches. They both hit the bar and had a goal ruled out for offside, but those aside they largely wasted the handful of genuine chances they created. Perhaps tired after their roller coaster midweek ACL game, they were still possibly the best team we've faced this year so far, but were victims of their own wastefulness.
Going into the last ten minutes a man down pretty much ended their hopes, and it was a clear red card. With Bare through, Abe pulled him back. He can't have had any complaints, and must have known he we was taking one for the team. 2-0 would have been game over, but as it was they at least had a some hope of a grabbing a draw. Not that they did. ;)
We've got two home games coming up over the long weekend starting May 3rd. Niigata and Kawasaki. Both winnable and with the right results we could rise to the higher end of the table and really build up some momentum.
Bare! Bare! Bare! Our goalkeeper was Hayashi as listed above, not Kushibiki as the commentator seems to think.