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BARRY WRITES...  I really should have thought of doing this as soon as highlights became available officially on YouTube a while back. Be...

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Urawa Supporters Block S-Pulse Fans Inside Stadium

Barry Barry writes  

After their 1-0 defeat to S-Pulse yesterday, around 150 Urawa supporters blocked 50 S-Pulse fans inside the ground. The trapped Shimizu fans were not let out for over four hours. The trouble had started almost immediately after the game when, apparently upset after our regular kachiloko, several home fans walked the length of the stadium to make macho posturings from behind the two separating barriers. These were the same fans who parodied our kachiloko when they beat us at Ecopa last year. That's football, that's banter and that's fine, but throwing your toys out the pram just because you lose? Please.



Though nothing as serious as a derby, there's been a long standing rivalry between Shimizu and Urawa as the heartland of Japanese football. As such, our Okoku Shimizu (Kingdom Shimizu) song got an outing.



This especially seemed to wind the Urawa fans up, but let's be clear about this. Yesterday's trouble was pure sour grapes and a petulant tantrum. If they'd scored a last minute equaliser, this would not have happened. Other sets of fans may have reacted to their provocations, and we all remember what happened at the same stadium a few years ago. Urawa host Kashima on May 11th, and if they try the same thing I don't think the Antler's fans will be as mild mannered as ours were.

Speaking of Kashima, we had a similar experience away there last season. After we beat them, several of their fans made the same attempts at provoking violence having come over to the away enclosure. These incidents raise serious questions over security and safety at J. League matches. Where were the stewards? Where was the police? A 40000 strong crowd is not going to be self policing.

After the posturing above, a sizeable group of Urawa fans proceeded to block the away fan's exit. Admittedly, the vast majority of our lot had already left, myself included, but around 50 remained and were not let out for over four hours. FOUR HOURS. Think about that. Since when was mob rule instigated? That's not hooliganism. That's anarchy. Where was the police during this time? How was this allowed to happen?

The issue was eventually resolved when club chairmen and supporters talked it out, but that's insanity. This isn't a situation to give everyone a seat at the table. You have people breaking the law, so send the heavy mob in, arrest the perpetrators, and let everyone else go home.

Presumably Urawa, and by extension, the J. League can identify the ringleaders, so ban them for the rest of the season. Refusing to involve the police may be a concious effort to avoid bad publicity, but molly coddling kids with hooligan ambitions will only embolden them. If you don't crack down on it now you're going to see more and more of this over the years.

With concern being voiced over falling gate figures, the league can't afford to be soft on this. Let these things slide and eventually it'll turn people off the game for good.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Urawa Red Diamonds 0-1 Shimizu S-Pulse

Barry Barry writes  

Urawa Red Diamonds 0-1 Shimizu S-Pulse 
------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bare 64

Att. 37945
Saitama Stadium, Saitama City
April 27th 2013

GK Hayashi

DF Yoshida
DF Jong-a-Pin
DF Hiraoka
DF Lee ki-Je (52)

MF Sugiyama
MF Mutamatsu (77)
MF Takeuchi

FW Kawai
FW Takagi
FW Bare

Subs Used

Ishige on Takagi (62)
Takagi on for Kawai (82)
Hiroi on for Takeuchi (90)

Report

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.

Pictures

 Saitama Stadium
 It's a belter
 Was a cracking atmosphere
Second half kick off


Videos

Bare! Bare! Bare! Our goalkeeper was Hayashi as listed above, not Kushibiki as the commentator seems to think.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Omiya 2-3 S-Pulse (Nab Cup Group Stage)

Barry Barry writes  

Omiya 2-3 S-Pulse 
Shimizu 52 ------------- Bare 55, 83
Novakovič 80 ----------- Hiraoka 79

Att 4276
Nack5 Stadium, Saitama City

GK Kushibiki

DF Yoshida
DF Jong-a-Pin
DF Hiraoka
DF Lee Ki-Je

MF Takeuchi
MF Muramatsu
MF Takaki


FW Takagi 
FW Hattanda
FW Senuma

Subs Used

Bare on for Senuma (HT)
Murata on for Takaki (57)
Ishige (91) on for Hattanda (71)

Report

A real humdinger of a cup tie up in Saitama this evening. After a pretty drab first 45, the game exploded into life with five second half goals. Two came in a five minute burst shortly after the restart with three more in another five minute spell 25 minutes later. The victory came via a rare goal from a high rising Hiraoka and two from Bare. Bare's first was a very powerful run and suggests a player getting into full stride. His second came after he didn't so much lose his marker, as his marker drifted off into nowhere leaving him totally free. He needed no more invitation than that, and our third goal was enough for the win, though it far from an easy match.

The result revives our Nabisco Cup hopes, but until the other group games are played tomorrow we won't know quite where we are. As it stands, the Group A looks like this:

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Júbilo Iwata 4 3 0 1 9 3 +6 9
Yokohama F. Marinos 3 2 0 1 3 1 +2 6
Omiya Ardija 5 2 0 3 7 9 −2 6
Shimizu S-Pulse 4 1 2 1 5 8 −3 5
Kawasaki Frontale 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
Ventforet Kofu 4 1 1 2 4 5 −1 4
Shonan Bellmare 3 1 0 2 2 4 −2 3

We still need to win both our remaining games, with the game home to Yokohama May 22nd looking like it may be the big one. Aside from the table, bagging three goals will have done us no harm mentally. That horrific start to the season will fade a little further into memory and the confidence gained from a hard fought away can only be a good thing.

It's all back to Saitama on Saturday as we face Urawa in the league.See you there? Maybe.

Videos

Highlights recorded off the TV on a camera. Not ideal, but better than nothing and thanks really does go to the uploader.


Saturday, 20 April 2013

S-Pulse 1-1 Cerezo Osaka

Barry Barry writes  

S-Pulse 1-1 Cerezo Osaka
Bare 33 ---------------------- Ogihara 11

Att 10252
IAI Stadium Nihondaira, Shizuoka

Line Up

GK Hayashi

DF Yoshida
DF Hiraoka
DF Jong-a-Pin (71)
DF Lee Ki-Je

MF Muramatsu
MF Sugiyama
MF Kawai
MF Ishige (50)

FW Ito
FW Bare (82)

Subs Used

Murata on for Kawai (70)
Hattanda on for Ito (70)
Takeuchi on for Ishige (87)

Report

Off out now, but report to come tomorrow or so. Good game for the neutral I'm sure, but I was on the edge of my seat for most of it. Could have won it, but Cerezo were dangerous towards the end. Anyway, more tomorrow!
 Bare got our equaliser

And nearly got a couple more
 Kazuya Murata made his debut

Highlights

Highlights of the game.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Shimizu S-Pulse 1-0 Jubilo Iwata

Barry Barry writes  

S-Pulse 1-0 Iwata
Muramatsu 80

IAI Stadium Nihondaira, Shizuoka
Att 15113

Line Up

GK Hayashi

DF Yoshida
DF Hiraoka
DF Jong-a-Pin
DF Lee Ki-Je (76)

MF Muramatsu
MF Sugiyama
MF Takeuchi

FW Takagi (70, 94)
FW Kawai
FW Bare

Subs used

Ishige on for Kawai (64)
Hattanda on for Takeuchi (78)

Report

This last week brought the sad news of former S-Pulse player and youth team coach Yasuhiro Yamada's passing at the desperately young age of 45. A pre-match tribute on the big screen and a minute's silence gave us all a reminder of the bigger picture, but in his honour there were no half measures when the game kicked off. 

It was a derby befitting of the title. Rough, niggly, tense, at times messy, nervy, and most of all at Iwata's expense, unforgiving of wastefulness in front of goal. The visitors, full of confidence after their sauntering league cup win, were the better for most of the first half, fluidly stringing passes together and with some decent finishing could have had a hat-full before the half hour mark.

With a little bit luck perhaps,we went into the break all square, and Iwata probably knew in the back of their minds that a game there for the taking had been let slip. We knew it too, and were grateful of the reprieve. The second half was a different, and as time went on a far more even, story. The space Jubilo had been allowed in the first half was whittled away to eventually nothing. Our patience and hard work, especially for me in the form of Takagi's hussle, paid off.

In the 80th minute Jong-a-Pin collected a half-cleared free kick on the edge of the area, shimmied, dummied, and under pressure from two blue shirts, swung a perfect cross in the melee in the danger zone. Muramatsu was there to thump the ball home with his forehead, right in front of a packed Kop. The noise at that moment went something a little like:

FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! YES! YES! COME ON! COME ON!
FAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!!!! (Repeat for around 60 seconds)

And that was just this reporter. The pent up frustration of the opening two home games and the tension of a finely balanced derby game combined to created a scene of bedlam. When I recovered some semblance of sanity the game was already back under way, and I've never seen a team fall apart as completely as Jubilo did. Almost immediately we could have made it two, and before the game was up we broke through the high-pressing Jubilo time and again. We should have ended the game 3-0 in the same way Iwata should have scored three before half time, so in that respect we're all square. 

Entering the three minutes of stoppage time, the gamesmanship and needle boiled over as Kawaguchi was at one point stood over an injured Bare shouting at the Brazilian to stop time wasting and / or get off the pitch. Time wasting isn't pretty, but to be fair it was already deep into stoppage time before we started, and I've seen Iwata do far worse, so no sympathy. Such were the levels of excruciating tension as the clock ticked  two minutes over the allotted stoppage time, when Takagi tangled with an Iwata defender I didn't even register that he picked up a second yellow. I only noticed when I checked the match report three hours later. 

So full time, 1-0. That's now three league derby wins on the trot and takes us into a second decade unbeaten at Nihondaira against Iwata. It's a third clean sheet in all competitions, and second win in the league. It also leaves that lot six matches into the season without a win and second bottom. All in all, a good day's work, and an effort from everyone on the pitch that didn't go unnoticed or unappreciated. Well done lads and thank you!!

After the kachiloko was done, after the Flag of the Kings was sung, and after we watched the highlights on the big screen, we stood as one, raised our faces to the sky and belted out one final chant.

YAMADA! YAMADA! YAMADA!  

Yasuhiro, this one's for you. Forever orange. RIP. 

 
Waiting for the team to arrive
Nihondaira under the floodlights - can't beat it!
 It all got a bit mouthy towards the end
Highlights

A special selection this week, staring with the greeting of the buses. Skip to 4:30 for our bus to arrive, and 6:30 for the other lot (Iwata! Iwata! Kusottare!).

kuso-ttare [ksɒ-tærɛ]
noun

1. One who shits themselves uncontrollably. A sufferer of incontinence.
2. A motherfucker, a shit head. A piece of shit.

From Japanese: くそったれ (kusottare)



Muramatsu's goal, in stunning slowmotion.



An extended digest of the day. Brilliant, and captures the occasion perfectly.



And finally, highlights from the TV.


Kawasaki Frontale 0-0 S-Pulse (Nab Cup Group Stage)

Barry Barry writes  

Kawasaki Frontale 0-0 S-Pulse 

Todoroki Stadium, Kawasaki
Att. 8964

Line Up

GK Kushibiki

DF Yoshida (90)
DF Hiraoka
DF Jong-a-Pin (34)
DF Lee Ki-Je

MF Takaki
MF Muramatsu
MF Takeuchi

FW Ishige
FW Hattanda
FW Senuma

Subs Used

Bare on for Senuma (57)
Takagi on for Takaki (65)
Kawai on for Ki-Je (84)

Report

As previously tweeted, is was an important person's birthday when this game was taking place, so I didn't see it an any way, shape or form. It ended goal-less. Our next League Cup game in this Tuesday away at Omiya, kick off 7pm.

Current league standings swiped from Wikipedia. Really need a result against Omiya to kick start our campaign. 

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Júbilo Iwata 4 3 0 1 9 3 +6 9
Yokohama F. Marinos 3 2 0 1 3 1 +2 6
Omiya Ardija 4 2 0 2 5 6 −1 6
Kawasaki Frontale 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
Ventforet Kofu 4 1 1 2 4 5 −1 4
Shonan Bellmare 3 1 0 2 2 4 −2 3
Shimizu S-Pulse 3 0 2 1 2 6 −4 2

Highlights

Taken off the TV (not by me).


Saturday, 6 April 2013

Sagan Tosu 0-1 Shimizu S-Pulse

Barry Barry writes  

Sagan Tosu 0-1 Shimizu S-Pulse
---------------------------------^----------- Bare 70

Best Amenity Stadium, Tosu
Att 6707

GK Hayashi (90+2)

DF Yoshida
DF Hiraoka
DF Jong-a-Pin
DF Lee Ki-Je

MF Muramatsu
MF Sugiyama
MF Lee Min-Soo

FW Bare (45+2)
FW Takagi
FW Kawai

Subs Used

Ishige on for Lee Min-Soo (83)
Hiroi on for Takagi (93)

Report



In torrential rain and wind we claimed our first three points of the season against the recently free-scoring Sagan Tosu. Tosu, who had scored 8 in their last two games, were consistently frustrated as a rejuvenated S-Pulse defence, which welcomed back Lee Ki-Je and Hiraoka, held firm for a first clean sheet of the year.

It was our first win, and Tosu's first loss. After our shocking March, we desperately needed a solid defensive display. Today we got it, in no small part to Lee's return which gave us our first full strength back four of the year. We benefited hugely from his presence keeping Tosu under control. Jong-a-Pin, desperately out of sorts of late, looked more like himself, no doubt helped by his regular defence around him.

Bare began his season tally with a well taken goal on the edge of the area. With two defenders on him and his back to the keeper, it was only a half chance really. But he took it brilliantly to swivel and belt it along the wet surface, under the keeper. Not long after Takagi could have doubled our lead, connecting with Bare's cross, but a reaction save saw to that.

Three points rewards our travelling fans and gives us a very welcome boost ahead of next week's derby with Jubilo. Speaking of which, Maeda finally opened his account this evening with a goal against Urawa. This means his so-called death goal, or the Maeda curse is layed upon the Red Diamonds. Will they get relegated? Will they bollocks, but they will finish mid table if tonight's performance was anything to go by. Well anyway, we can go into the derby not worrying about daft curses and what not.

Roll on next week! A win could send Iwata to the bottom of the table! Before I sign off, if you haven't yet, check out this article I wrote on the history of some of Japan's derby days. You can find it here at Ghotbi's personal website.

Videos

Short highlights below, with longer highlights at this link.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Orange Brothers Across the Globe!

Barry Barry writes  

Check out our latest hundred visitors:

There's the expected cluster across the four islands of Japan, but look at you lot visiting from all over the world! India, the Netherlands, Denmark, the US. The list goes on.

It's also especially cool to see someone on the Canary Islands passing through. Hi! to the Canary Island Ultras! Apart from those above, we also have regulars from, among others, Australia, the UK and Brazil. It's brilliant to see little pockets of S-Pulse all over the globe.

Keep the faith, stay orange, and keep visiting. Love you guys, seriously!