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FC Tokyo v Frontale: pre-season match
4 more days til the J.League season kicks off (truly no pun intended), and this gal is getting antsy. I was able to catch a digest show which included highlights of the pre-season match between Tokyo and Kawasaki; the rest of the info I got off the net. I was curious to see how things were coming along for FC Tokyo, as they are one of my favorite teams.

Despite foreseeing that FCTokyo would be coming on strong with perseverence especially when checking Frontale players, at the start of the game it looked like Frontale was rather overwhelmed and there was some chaos in t he defense. For Tokyo, this konno.jpgtedious checking was a necessity given that the team was in a formation that left Konno (pic) as a single defensive midfielder. Konno is one of the most reliable players in that position, but with his team in such attack-oriented mode (coach Hara is aiming to make Tokyo a "Japanese version of Barcelona", good, really I sincerely mean good luck!), there is a great deal of work for Konno to do. But the "extra" player free from constant defensive midfield duties can then put his efforts into checking players in areas closer to the opponent's goal and possibly connect his efforts to a goal, so it really depends on whether the rest of the team can keep that persistence up with disciplilne.

Unfortunately for FCTokyo, the Frontale players were able to adjust themselves to absorb the constant battery of Tokyo shots and wait patiently for a good chance to go forward. Their patience was rewarded by a goal at 22 mins. Despite efforts like Ishikawa's speedy run up to the right of the goal (and missed shot), and Kaji's loping cross from the right (which found the head of a teammate but failed to receive any follow-through), Tokyo were unable to find the back of the net. Probably the biggest hurdle for the offensive future of this team is the ability for Danilo (forward) to fit in with his teammates and understand the style of Japanese football.

Anyway, my expectations weren't that high -- I was just happy to see the team play again.
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