Wednesday, 27 July 2011

What happened to S-Pulse? Cerezo 4 - 0 Shimizu

Our first game since Pimpao returned to Brazil after an inconsistent few games in J1 but pretty solid performances in the ACL. He won't be missed too badly (if at all) after this result. Martinez returned and Komatsu took up the front man position. The first half was pretty evenly matched and I was pretty worried coming into this game. But the second half belonged to our Korean midfielder Kim Bo-Kyung. Some pretty poor marking from a corner let Bo-Kyung score the first from in the six yard box. He then won a penalty, a decision which could have gone either way, leaving Kurata to convert. So we got a couple of fortunate goals. A few minutes later and Shinji Ono got subbed due to an injury and that seemed to destroy any hope for Shimizu as they never looked like getting back into things. This left Kim Bo-Kyung to grab his well deserved second and Inui to wrap things up with our fourth goal. Deja vu perhaps I've written this before but that could be Inui's last for us, this was played in Nagai Stadium before heading of to VFL Bochum for a bargain price (or his true worth?) of around 300,000 Euros.
Shimizu away fans full of hope

Bo-Kyung (next to the keeper) waits for the delivery to score his first

Kurata prepares to tuck this one away

Shinji Ono's game is over and with it any sign of hope for Shimizu. Oh no indeed.

Vissel Kobe 4 - 1 Cerezo Osaka in Home's Satdium Kobe

Not much to say about the last two losses. We strugggle against ten men nowadays! Kobe looked consistenly dangerous. We missed Martinez's ability to hold possesion in the midfield in this particular game. Old boy Okubo came off the bench for a cameo, he soon left two of our players for dead. Then he won and converted a penalty. Come back to Cerezo!
One of the better J-League stadiums

Okubo converts the penalty he won
Vissel fans celebrate their fourth of the night

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Another victory against 10 men! Hiroshima 1 - 3 Cerezo

Sanfrecce Hiroshima were in 4th place before this game. A terrible back pass in the 2nd minute allowed Tadanari Lee to fire home and get their keeper to join in an amusing goal celebration. Lee, Japan's Asian Cup final hero, looks likely to join the growing number of Japanese plying their trade in the Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin a possible destination. A similar defensive error by the home team this time allowed Kurata to equalise in the 33rd minute as Nishikawa, their keeper, looked for sympathy from the ref.

The whole team celebrate a fortunate opener
The keeper's luck soon changed for the equaliser

The ref had shown Sanfrecce three yellows by this point in the game. Sanfrecce's Morisaki was shown his first yellow shortly after our goal. In similar circumstances to last week he picked up a second yellow soon after this in the 42nd minute when he appeared to handle the ball deliberately. Cerezo players looked bemused as the Sancfrecce ones argued in vain with the card happy official. We still had some work to do as were drawing the game but we could certainly afford to relax a lot more.
 The ref ignores the protests and puts his cards back while our players look forward to another 2nd half against 10 men.
We came out with all guns blazing in the second half with Kiyotake's reputation growing further with an impressive curled finish from just outside the box. The big man Komatsu starting today in Pimpao's absence put the game to bed in the 51st minute and despite Jin-Hyeon being forced to pull off a couple of saves we were in no real danger after that. Again after the final whistle the officials had to leave the stadium to a chorus of boos. I wasn't too fussed this time, our players didn't egg the referee to show so many cards or in any way contribute to Morisaki's sending off so it was quite an enjoyable away victory which sees us climb to 10th in the league. Next up Jubilo Iwata, who are 9th visit Kincho Stadium in Nagai on Wednesday.
Our away support, happy.

The Hiroshima Stadium partially surrounded by greenery

A big uniform in the Big Arch Stadium

Culpi congratulates Kiyotake after his stunner

The Great Violet Kingdom, not happy.   

Monday, 4 July 2011

Slightly tarnished Cerezo 5-0 home win against the league leaders Kashiwa

I would have been happier if we got a result against 11 men over the whole game but we were 2-0 up before Kashiwa's No.10 Leandro Domingues got his marching orders after 28 minutes. Before that Inui cooly finished a fine through ball from Kiyotake. A mix-up between the keeper and defender then allowed Pimpao to grab our second. Inui was in good form today taking on players and even beating them! At this point the game was was well poised and looked like serving up some good entertainment. Until Leandro's sending off. He picked up his first booking for a deliberate handball, wasn't in a dangerous position and it's debatable whether it was deliberate. Anyway Martinez waved the annoying imaginary card at the ref who booked Leandro. A couple of minutes later during a Cerezo counter Leandro appeared to take Martinez (who rolled around a lot before getting up) out after he had released the ball. The ref made a good decision and allowed an advantage which Pimpao wanted to take by playing the ball to Inui. Inui instead of continuing a promising attack let the ball go out preferring to wave an imaginary card at the ref who turned around and showed Leandro his second yellow. Cue protests from the Kashiwa players. This signalled the end of the game as a contest. It was a bit hard to enjoy the rest of the game, we did our best to get the guy sent off basically, even though we were doing well enough anyway. This ref was actually really good with playing advantages but a couple of times players refused to take them. Play to the whistle! Also waving an imaginary card should be a yellow card offence, it's not really in the spirit of the game. So we knocked in another three in the second half. Martinez, Kurata and the ever excitable Bando with a great turn and finish were the goalscorers but it all left a slightly sour taste in my mouth after the sending off. The victory would've meant so much more 11 vs 11 for 90 minutes. Perhaps I should be happier, it was after all our long-awaited first home victory in front of 13741 fans in Nagai Stadium most if not all of whom left in better spirits than I did! 
Inui looking on ominously below the Kashiwa support. Felt sorry for them in the end, there was a lone trumpeter in there somewhere who kept their spirits up.

Is Maruhashi holding his head in shame here? Martinez about to get up after Leandro got sent off.

Officials, players, coaches and subs all try to stop Bando going nuts after scoring so the game could actually finish!
Final score with a sad looking blank space where Leandro's name would still have been on another day.