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J1 Round 2 Highlights
A round-up with Video streams of some of the goals, from Round 2 of the J league 1st division:

Nishizawa jumps for joyCerezo Osaka 1-6 Gamba Osaka
CO: Nishizawa 40 min
GO: Fernandinho 2 min, 60 min, 65 min; Magno Alves 81 min, 84 min, 86 min

>>Nishizawa goal video
>>Fernandinho goal video

An unbelievable "Day vs Night" result at the Osaka derby. The Cerezo PR machine had shifted into high gear in preparation for the ever-popular derby match, the first of the season, with tons of events and a festive atmosphere in and around the stadiuma. No one would have predicted such a complete routing.

Last year, Fernandinho had to play second fiddle to the likes of Araujo and Oguro. But any worries by fans about whether they can depend on him this year to be a central figure in scoring were put to rest with his first career hattrick. Not to be outdone, Magno Alves took the baton in the last portion of the game with a hattrick of his own, as Cerezo fell apart and left the pitch wondering where their cohesion of last season had gone.
Things were equal at halftime. Gamba scored early in the first half when a cross from right sideback Kaji was allowed through Futagawa to reach Fernandinho -- who took it up with some nice dribbling and got a good shot in. Their attack continued via game leaders Endo and Futagawa and the forwards freely changing positions. As for Cerezo, they had trouble getting the ball anywhere near the Gamba goal area, and ended up having to spend much of their energies on defense. But with five minutes left to halftime, they came through when defensive midfielder Kawamura took advantage of a hole that was created on the right; his cross was dropped by Furuhashi and sent in by Nishizawa (pic of Nishizawa walking on air after his goal).

But Gamba took their possession confidently in the second half, and most importantly were able to finish with accuracy. At 60 mins, Endo sent the ball to left, where sideback Ienaga sent in a cross, and Fernandinho got to the ball in time to push it in again. Five minutes after that, a long feed from Gamba forced a clearance error by Cerezo's defense. Futagawa picked the loose ball up for Fernandinho to finish off. From there it just got painful to watch (if you were a Cerezo supporter, that is).

Though Cerezo manager Kobayashi tried to change the momentum with some substitutions, Cerezo's efforts forward backfired as they fell again and again to counterattacks. The festive mood that started the day off at Nagai ended with harsh booing by the sakura-colored supporters.

Oita Trinita 1-1 Sanfrecce Hiroshima
OT: Uchimura 79 min
SH: Ueslei 89 min

>>Uchimura goal video
>>Ueslei goal video

A Celebration of Births ends in a draw between two stubborn teams. From the starting whistle, it was Oita who controlled much of the game against the stiff defending of the home side. Using Nishiyama in midfield as a central axis about which intricate passing revolved to set up the attack from both middle and sides. With the game still scoreless with a quarter of an hour left, Oita manager Chamsca substituted in two forwards, Uchimura and Matsuhashi "to inject more speed into the game" -- and his strategy proved fruitful when several minutes later these two players set up and scored. Uchimura sent in a cross from the left, Matsuhashi made as if to go for the ball but ended up confusing the defenders, and the ball went on its merry way into goal. Oita players celebrated the recent birth of Matsuhashi's daughter with the usual cradle-rocking performance.

It was supposed to be Oita's first home win. The mood at the stadium was high, and the bubbling over of anticipation of that win may have contributed to Oita's loss of focus in the dying minutes. Hiroshima's Sato dribbled into the opponent area, passing off to Ueslei as his body teetered, and all the returning Brazilian had to do was push it in. It was a dramatic finish to a tense game, and another "birth" day celebration as it was Sato's 24th.

Avispa Fukuoka 1-1 Omiya Ardija
AF: Alex 9 min
OA: Tsuchiya 71 min

>>Tsuchiya goal video
>>Alex goal video

A Spunky Challenge from J1 Newcomers Put Sophomore Squirrels on the Defense. The first home game back in the First division for Fukuoka, and they did not disappoint their supporters. There was a clear difference between the two sides in persistence on the ball, the speed switching between offense and defense, and overall unity. Avispa you could say, had the advantage of motivation, and they used it well. From the start, they put on a very attacking game with good positioning and a simplicity of passing using the sides.

At 9 mins, Yabuta's throw in anticipated Alex's run up, and the Brazilian kept his speed up to dribbling around the defense and strike with his left foot. Though Avispa lost Tanaka to injury ten minutes later, they kept their stability and kept Omiya's shots to one.

Omiya's manager Miura was trying out Toninho as a defensive midfielder this day, but he wasn't able to show much contribution in the form of setting up the plays. However, Omiya did come back int he second half when Marques and Sakurai were put in and Toninho stepped back to his usual place on the defense line. Omiya put pressure up front, connected their passes; but Fukuoka learned their lesson from last round's game and did not retreat, patiently withstanding the attack while preventing Omiya from taking shots and aiming for counters.

But the wall broke at 71 mins, when a right CK met Tsuchiya's head for a much needed equalizer. It looks like Omiya can at least be relieved that their set pieces seem to work -- they are undeniably overwhelming in this area. Fukuoka took control of the game after this, and seemed confident in their play. Omiya wanted to settle down first and get their bearings, but could have backed off too much; though they created two perfect opportunities in the last five minutes only to be denied by goalie Mizutani.

Overall, Fukuoka came off looking united and stable despite missing two key players. Their patience and belief in their style did not waver, and though they did not win, the game left supporters optimistic. Omiya looks like they have a solid list of players this year; but what they lack as they look to transform into a possession-oriented team is a sense of cohesion.

Kyoto Purple Sanga 2-7 Kawasaki Frontale
KPS: Paulinho 65 min, Own Goal 89 min
KF: Ganaha 1 min, 63 min; Nakamura 22 min; Juninho 48 min, 51 min, 84 min; Marcao 75

>>Juninho goal video
>>Paulinho goal video

The Frontale Finish Superior over Eager Kyoto. Last round, Kyoto gave up a very early goal, and it screwed up their gameplan. Kyoto was hoping to use their speedy forwards to take Frontale by surprise, but they made things difficult for themselves again when they let Ganaha score only a minute into the game.

With the lead, Frontale dropped their sides down to defend against the Kyoto forwards (Paulinho and Hayashi). Their main strategy for attack was to have their front lines put pressure up top and try and regain possession for a quick and efficient attack through Ganaha and Juninho.

Nakamura's 22nd minute mid-ranage shot was quite a beaut, and gave Kawasaki insurance. Kawasaki like to defend and counter, so with two goals under their belts, it was that much harder for Kyoto to create good opportunities. The midfield could not pry the marks off their forwards, and Kyoto were not able to create good shots.

In the second half, people were hoping to see Kyoto regroup, but again an early goal allowance made things even worse for the home side. Juninho dribbled through and won the face-off against the goalie. Now down three goals, and playing at home, Kyoto's pride was on the line and they went after the goals they needed -- risking their defense to get back into the game. But as much as Kyoto tried to send the ball forward, they could not create good set-up plays and went down another goal from a Frontale counter.

Kyoto finally got the goal they sought, when Mio's cross from the right was headed in by Paulinho. But the cost was too great, as by this time the score was 1-7 -- and a hattrick this round from Juninho. A second goal for Kyoto in the final minute of the game (an own goal) did little to allay concerns about whether the Purplse Sanga style can work in the 1st division. Manager Hashiratani seems to believe they can, just that it will take a little time, and he's asked the supporters to understand and be patient.

Meanwhile, it seems like Kawasaki manager Sekizuka was right in turning down Kashima's interest and remaining at Frontale to continue building the team he set off to create. Last year Frontale had no problems scoring, but then would end up allowing the opponents to catch up, dropping valuable points.

Kashima Antlers 0-3 Yokohama F Marinos
YFM: Magrao 39 min, 79 min; Dutra 81 min
>>Magrao goal video

Marinos Tie Up Antlers' Horns. Last year's Marinos were paddling to stay afloat, and though manager Okada did try new things and try to inject a sense of freshness mid-way, it was not a Champion team performance. But from what I have seen of Marinos so far, they are back, and perhaps even stronger than they were two seasons ago. Marinos had great unity and presence in this game: they were quick and persistent on their pressure, their passing flowed with quick direct plays, and overall their was a sense of strength. Kashima could do nothing, as their possession style football was smothered out and made ineffective, and all that stood out was lack of confidence in movement and passing errors.

The Yanagisawa effect (especially his hattrick from last round) did wonders for the ticket sales, but it would be unfair to blame Kashima's lack of scoring on him alone. Manager Autuori left the starting roster as is from the last game, making only one change by inserting forward Alex Mineiro in for Fukai. Marinos kept their team from last round.

Though Antlers set up plays over and over, vertical passes to Yanagisawa were easily anticipated by the analysis-loving Okada. The Marinos 3-back defense line were ready for it. And as Kashima were thwarted again and again, Marinos started to gradually take control.

I mentioned last week that the Brazilian trio of Dutra, Magrao, and Marques was going to be a powerful structure in this year's Marinos. Add Kubo's great chemistry with partner Marques (these two have hardly practiced together but were reading each other perfectly in this game), and the powerful defense, and this will be a tough team to beat.

Marinos' first goal came from a corner -- Oku's kick was headed in by Magrao. After this, Kashima came back in the second half with a period of really good rhythm, but they were unable to score in that duration. One great opportunity during a corner gave Yanagisawa a shot but the ball was caught. As time slipped by, they started to lose speed and ideas. Then, at 79 min, a free kick from Magrao tipped the balance. Goalie Ozawa (primary goalie Sogahata is still injured) was late in his reaction and the ball was swallowed up by the net. In that moment, Kashima lost their focus, and three minutes later Yokohama's side Tanaka (who was subbed in) dribbled up the side unstoppable by Kashima's Araiba, and his cross was met on the far side by a completely free Dutra.

Marinos definitely came to this game prepared both physically and mentally to play Kashima. Autuori is a logic-oriented strategist, and it may take time for him to get to know his own players as well as other clubs, and in the meantime the players themselves may have to make up the difference by coming through with something more creative and with better quality while their manager adjusts, but to be honest, right now I am not all that taken in by Autuori. Kashima tends to be a little too cool to begin with, the players resorting to intellectual calculation (even Captain Ogasawara as you know is a quiet thinker type) when sometimes power and passion are needed. Autuori, being another clearcut strategist, may not be able to create the kind of revved up atmosphere in the club that Toninho Cerezo or Zico had injected in past years.

Urawa Reds 3-1 Jubilo Iwata
UR: Tulio 33 min, Santos 42 min, Ponte 61 min
JI: Chano 87 min

>>Santos goal video
>>Chano goal video

If One Were to Ask For More. A 3-1 victory for Urawa will no doubt be a satisfying result for those of you who are supporting the team but could not watch the game. But If I were to point out some criticisms, my main gripe would be that Urawa can do more; nay, they have no excuse not to be doing better.

The first goal was a cross from Hasebe that was reached by a diving header from Tulio. The second was a pretty free kick from Santos who was having a good day. The third was a gimme goal when miscommunication between Chano and goalie Kawaguchi allowed Ponte to intercept and flick into an empty goal. Nice plays each, true, but I am wondering whether everyone is completely happy with Reds' performance so far, considering the degree of talent they have available.

Even Jubilo manager Yamamoto commented that the only real difference between the teams was the finishing. Both teams had an equal 9 shots each. But anything Reds created was pretty devoid of team play, resorting to individual skills and finishing ability. Which, I mean, is great, but considering the potential, I'd say it is healthier to remain dissatisfied. It was good to see Urawa send out some of their other new players Soma and Kurobe, both of whom did add spice in the time they played. The trick may be in finding a balance of talent to use, not always depending on the obvious stars.... And Reds have obviously come into their own in terms of being able to assert their own game over J giants.

Jubilo. Ah, Jubilo, she said, shaking her head. My interest was piqued when I saw they were trying out a new 4-5-1 system (to Reds' 3-6-1), and on the whole this new system did okay. I can't remember how long has it been since Jubilo departed from their classic 3-5-2? They used the sides and controlled the middle portion of the game, and in the final portion of the game with Reds losing momentum and retreating, Jubilo put on a barrage. They were able to score one, but overall you could see they need to figure out exactly what they want to be doing in front of the goal. Cullen is running around like a Tazmanian devil (at least the cartoon kind), but back up is slow and the team cannot find clear shots.

Albirex Niigata 2-0 FC Tokyo
AN: Terakawa 65 min, Edmilson 76 min
>>Terakawa goal video

Niigata Invite Tokyo to Self-Destruct. Balanced and strong on defense, Albirex's 4-back line denied Tokyo satisfaction. The visitors could not pick up loose balls, could not find their rhythm, made errors in midfield passing, and against a defending opponent could not create opportunities. I mentioned last week that FC Tokyo's new manager Gallo was focusing training on build-up via the sides and also on fixing the positioning; but I think it was Albirex that had the positioning down. I can't expect miracles -- afterall, Gallo cannot fix a bad habit in a matter of weeks. For new Albi manager Suzuki, it was his first win, and a big relief especially after the throttling they got from Frontale last round.

Shimizu S-Pulse 2-0 Nagoya Grampus
SS: Fujimoto 6 min, Cho 32 min
>>Fujimoto goal video

Jef Chiba 2-2 Ventforet Kofu
JC: Haas 36 min, Abe (PK) 49 min
VK: Horii 67 min, Bare 82 min

>>Bare goal video
>>Haas goal video
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Hi Suika, thanks for your note. 大量得点の問題(?)はどうなんでしょうね。そのうちまた「決定力不足」の問題も出てくると思うので、今はEnjoyEnjoyってとこかな?私って無責任!!^^;

You are right there seem to be too many games with too many goals scored in the first few rounds. All these hattricks do seem a bit bizarre, especially in the J, where teams have been at least basically stable and disciplined on defensive strategy.

Hi Camilla,
Thanks for your note! I was wondering if the Miyamoto Fever peaked last year, but I guess Gamba is still reaping the marketable rewards. :)

Hi Otto,
Thanks so much for the review of the game. Takahara's position at Hamburg is so bad right now I'm almost afraid to look! But from what I've watched of Hamburg, they really don't play very stylish football. Their passing is pretty bad, and overall I think they have gotten to the position they are in by individual goal scoring capabilities no real fluid team-created penetration -- mainly set pieces and mid/long range shots. It is only a wonder how they are in 2nd place -- I guess their historic victories against Bayern does add to their cachet.
2006/03/23(木) 12:20:14 | URL | depflight #-[ Edit]
承認待ちコメント
このコメントは管理者の承認待ちです
2006/03/22(水) 07:07:36 | | #[ Edit]
hello,again
お久しぶりです。
depflightさんどうなさったのか心配していましたが、色々と大変だったようですね。どうか無理しない範囲で、じょじょに元気を取り戻してくださいね。

あっという間に代表もJもにぎやかになりましたね。この時点での一喜一憂は禁物ですが、どこも大量に点が入りすぎなのは昨季のガンバや甲府の影響なのか、単に新ボールがGK泣かせなのか…。DFでアピールできるところが少なくてちょっと心配しています。
2006/03/17(金) 22:55:41 | URL | suika #-[ Edit]
承認待ちコメント
このコメントは管理者の承認待ちです
2006/03/16(木) 18:29:01 | | #[ Edit]
承認待ちコメント
このコメントは管理者の承認待ちです
2006/03/16(木) 09:56:47 | | #[ Edit]
あさ@さん
あささん、コメントありがとうございます!やっと国内ガンバサポーターとお会い出来て嬉しいですョ。

さて、ACLに向けてのサイトでとても興味深いです。応援してます!

Dear Readers, I just wanted to direct you to a new Gamba Osaka information site in English, managed by Asa (who posted above with the link). Since Gamba is representing Japan in the ACL this year, and there would be supporters from other countries who would be coming to Japan to attend the games, Asa realized there was a need for some better info in English to be made available. Good hosts!

The link will also be available on the left column.
2006/03/15(水) 14:09:29 | URL | depflight #-[ Edit]
お邪魔致します。あさと申します。ガンバサポです。

実は今、ACLに向けて英語でガンバを紹介するサイトを作っています。アドレスはこちらです。http://wiki.livedoor.jp/le_matin/d/FrontPage

つきましては、こちらのサイトにリンクを張らせていただこうとおもっているのですが、よろしいでしょうか?お許し頂けるとありがたいです。よろしくお願い致します。

2006/03/15(水) 13:35:59 | URL | あさ@逃避日記 #-[ Edit]
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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。