Didn't make it to the game but these highlights (and commentary if you understand Japanese) can't really do justice to a couple of crucial offside decisions leading to a goal for Cerezo's Hotaru Yamaguchi and one disallowed for FC Tokyo. Next game is in the Nabisco Cup against Grampus in Nagoya. That's on Wednesday 20th at 4pm as it's a public holiday here in Japan to celebrate the Vernal Equinox.
Saturday, 16 March 2013
Friday, 15 March 2013
A great start from us led to a Kakitani goal after some fine work from Sugimoto early on. Leaving Hugo unmarked in the 6 yard box after a corner could only mean a Kofu equaliser later in the 1st half. Culpi might have been annoyed with the two Brazilians Edno and Simplicio who both picked up yellow cards just before half time and were taken off at the interval with Edamura and Minamino replacing them. The promising teenager hit the post in the 79th minute and Yamaguchi was well placed to slam home the rebound. This was a vast improvement on what we saw last week. Not a great performance though but we have a 100% record so no complaints! Next up is another team with two wins in two, FC Tokyo. They travel down from the vast overcrowded soulless metropolis that is Tokyo to the vibrant, friendly, foodie Osaka.
Sunday, 3 March 2013
Kakitani's calm finish secured an incredibly undeserved 3 points as Albirex will be wondering how they are going home with nothing. No outfield player for us performed particularly well as Jin-Hyeon had to be in top form to keep us in the game. Worryingly our new no.9 Edno “the Rock” lived up to his nickname by being a motionless inanimate object for most of the game before being subbed. Hopefully Culpi will change the starting line-up for the next game as quite a few players failed to impress but Ogihara's introduction added some urgency and bite to the midfield. An unexepectedly depressing moment came as we brought on the re-branded Branquinho who now goes by “Branco”. This is a guy we have on loan and we subsequently loaned to Yamagata in J2 as he proved to be largely ineffective last year. As he came on looking at his name on the scoreboard I thought it was a new signing until on closer inspection it turned out to be our unsuccessful loaned loanee sneaking back on to the pitch under a different name, very odd. In other news congratulations to Shinji Kagawa who grabbed a hat-trick in the early hours this morning for Man U against Norwich. Man U will visit Osaka in the summer for a friendly bringing with them overpriced tickets, an extra game in the middle of the J1 season and the Japanese superstar we sold for 350,000 Euros. All said and done we got 3 points but if we can't improve drastically we could well be flirting with relegation again.