As the great Jimmy Greaves was fond of pointing out, it's a funny old game. It suuuuure is.
Much like S-Pulse next week, Jubilo only needed a draw today. Whereas a point will see us secure a J1 berth for another year, theirs would see them through to the J2 play off final. At 1-1 halfway through 4 minutes of additional time, Montedio win a corner. Without a winner they're out the play offs. They send up keeper Norihiro Yamagishi, and this happens:
And in slow motion from within the travelling fans, who had covered 380 miles to be there:
Or in real time. Bloody hell. :D Try telling me you didn't just get goosebumps.
What a difference a second makes
Thanks to their blue and white stripes matching Brighton's, I've always felt a slight affinity with Yamagata. I even went along to their J1 debut in 2009, and enjoyed a beer with a couple of their fans in Shimizu the following season. So Yamagata are definitely in soft spot territory. The fact the above drama played out against Iwata makes it all priceless. Brought back memories of this time last year.
Another season in J2 for Jubilo then. Megalolz. This is all well and good, but we're only 90 minutes from joining them. One point is what's needed to make sure we don't suffer the same ignominy of demotion. We've never lost at home to Kofu in the league but regardless, I don't expect next Saturday to be anything other than excruciating.
It's up to Oenoki to marshal his men to safety, and ensure Iwata's inevitable revenge for last season is delayed at least another year. Sobbing into your scarf at full time comes to us all eventually, and is part of what makes this beautiful game the greatest in the world. We have it in our power to make sure it doesn't come to us just yet.