Kashiwa 3-1 S-Pulse
Leandro 10 ------------------ Nagasawa 82
Dudu 38, 62
Saturday November 29th, 2pm
Hitachi Kashiwa Soccer Stadium, Kashiwa
DF Miura G
DF Yoshida (15)
MF Musaka (32)
FW Takagi T
Ishige on for Takeuchi (43)
Murata on for Yoshida (63)
Nagasawa on for Omae (72)
So predictably we got turned over by Kashiwa, conceding our 40th, 41st and 42nd goals since the managerial change in the process. Wonderful. Check the highlights below for some more flat-footed defending, yellow shirts sweeping though with ease. It's been such a recurring feature of the last few months, I'm actually pretty used to it now. On the plus side, Nagasawa scored his first goal since his return on Wednesday. Huge news ahead of the final weekend, but more of that in a bit.
First, who we need to give thanks to is Nagoya's Yoshizumi Ogawa. The Nagoya midfielder placed home a 92nd minute winner against Omiya Ardija to send the thousands of Shimizu fans watching on TV wild. Why? Because that one goal means next week is now 100% in our hands. A draw will keep us up. The only scenario that sees us go down is if we lose, and Omiya win. Now of course, given how poor we've been, and the fact Omiya are home to the uber shite Cerezo Osaka, this is totally possible. But being home to Kofu, a team already safe in the knowledge that they won their J1 survival a fortnight ago, is on paper the least threatening game we've had since we played Cerezo in October.
We'll have Nagasawa back - maybe to even start. Jakovic will be available after suspension, and with no new major upsets to our squad, we should be as strong as is possible. Last week, and especially this, we were massively let off the hook. Another season and Omiya would have won one or both of those two and we'd be down already.
So yeah, ball in our court, fate in our hands blah blah blah, but one thing everyone knows about football is if something is mathematically possible, then it does happen. So we have to go out and dispose of Kofu. We need an early goal to settle nerves, and play our own game. If we concede first then things will go to shit. Omiya will not fail to beat Cerezo. That must be taken as a given, so we simply MUST NOT LOSE.
If we manage to screw it up from here, then who can possible have any complaints? So come on, S-Pulse. Get out there. Get the job done. End this season, start again with a new manager next year.