Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Pezzaiuoli's first J1 game in charge ends in defeat 1 - 2 Kawasaki Frontale

World Cup returnees Yamaguchi, Kakitani, Forlan and Okubo were presented with flowers before the game at which point I realised that Kakitani wouldn't be starting his last game before joining FC Basel and Forlan would be a spectator. This game was sold out and fans got to see the new gaffer play a 4-1-4-1 formation and give Minamino the responsibility of starting in central midfield. Never one to shy away from a scrap Takumi was shown a straight red. It wouldn't be a red in most other leagues but the ref could argue he kicked Oshima's arse then got up and shoved him after a bit of a tussle. A well worked goal with a tidy finish from the otherwise ineffectual Ando saw us take the lead before a soft penalty conceded by Fujimoto let Okubo equalise and sub Kanakubo ensured Frontale left with 3 points with an opportunistic shot. Kakitani came on for a cameo and there was the standard ceremony Cerezo fans are used to as he now leaves for FC Basel. He has promised to return as a better player but I don't want to think about that. He's gone now so until he comes back I don't care. The club stuck by Kakitani when we loaned him out instead of getting rid of him and he then promised to stay with Cerezo and win a title here. Perhaps I'm a tad jaded after seeing us turn into a feeder club with no trophies to show for all our young talent. Still, as always, things will be interesting here as Pezzaiuoli looks to reshape our team for the future.    

The fans behind the goal were in amazing form that the team couldn't quite match

Standard German manager's fashion style overshadowed by a banner about Kakitani and a coach with a schoolboy approach to bench use. The first kanji character means to charm or bewitch.

Do I not like that red card, although there is yet another impressive banner in the background.
Ryo Nagai prepares to come on

Emperor's Cup extra time victory 4 - 2 vs Veertien Kuwana

A very exciting but annoying game due to the fact that we should have walked this but the players weren't bothered to impress new manager Marco Pezzaiuoli and made hard work of knocking Veertien Kuwana out. Yamaguchi started after returning from the World Cup. It looked like Veertien would pull off an upset for large periods but I wonder how good they really are or whether we were just poor on the day. Jin-Hyeon was lucky not to see red and give away a penalty even though the Veertien player was looking for it. U18 player Masaki Sakamoto replaced Sakemoto at half time and saved us with two goals in extra time. For anyone wondering "Veertien" means 14 in Dutch. The Kuwana kit is similar to the Oranje one so is their name Cruyff inspired? Partly, it could also be because there are 11 players plus 3 subs and additionally Kuwana has a population of 140,000. So plenty of good reasons there then. To be fair a look their fixture list shows them facing a team called "Black Kitty". This win means we will face Kataller Toyama in the next round in August so I'll let you know what Kataller means then.

Kincho is no longer "Awaycist" as we have added proper seats to the grassy knoll that used to welcome visitors
In good spirits as usual despite a frustrating evening