S-Pulse 2-0 Vegalta Sendai
IAI Stadium Nihondaira, Shizuoka City
May 25th, 2pm
DF Yoshida (51)
Senuma (81) on for Ito (62)
Takagi on for Musaka (79)
Miura on for Ishige (91)
Some days it's an absolute pleasure to be an S-Pulse fan, and yesterday was one of them. The result, the fact it came from a team with an average age of just 22, and that I was lucky enough to watch from the VIP room, combined to make it a day to remember. Roy Keane would have loved it. Sushi, sashimi, noodles, sandwiches (none prawn, sadly), roast beef, all on a help yourself basis, and set off with a free bar. It was my first time watching from within air conditioned opulence, and I could definitely get used to it.
Missing both Jong a Pin and Bare, it was again something of a juggling act, but we responded perfectly. Sugiyama dropped back to defence again which of course has a knock on effect. Débutante Musaka, who took to midfield, asserted himself well and everyone can be proud to have sent a decent Sendai team home pointless. Hats off to Kushibiki, who has done a good job in goal in the league cup and displayed safe hands throughout.
Both goals demonstrated different strong aspects of our play, the first with lightening passing in a tight spot breaking open space for a cross which Kawai met. The second was a speedy counter, and credit where its due to the linesman. It was a tight call, but the run was timed perfectly. I've lost count the number of times I've seen them wrongly called offside, but the judgement was spot on, and Takagi, with his old strike mate Genki Omae watching in the stands, grabbed his first goal of the season by calmly slotting home through the keeper's legs.
We now enter the mid season break, the J. League starting back up again on July 6th. We sit 9th, but we can do better, and we know it. After the recess, we'll be able to start a full strength team in our first game away to Nagoya. They're having a rough old time of it right now, so we can go into it with every confidence.
Kachiloko, with special guest Genki Omae. It was great to see him.