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Nabisco Cup Chat
The first 2006 Yamazaki Nabisco Cup group round games took place last night. You will be able to find the most recent games results at the bottom of the left column, and all of the tournament fixtures and results listed on >>this entry (this page will be updated as the rounds continue).

Since I don't have access to viewing all the games, I can't do game reviews. But here are some highlights.

With the group rounds taking place while the national team players are missing, one of the highlights of these games is to see rookie and young players used and see what kinds of changes managers make to their squad.

Jef Chiba: current title holders Jef had apparently declined the option given to them to skip the group rounds and leap ahead to the knock-out tourney. The club is holding fast to their work ethic, saying that for the growth of the players and club they wish to force themselves to earn the right to make it past the group rounds.

Jef Chiba 2-1 Sanfrecce Hiroshima
JC: Hanyu 2min, Sato 81min
SH: KMorisaki 46min
I think a predictable victory for Jef, though they are still a little shaky in the second half. Yuto Sato (whose twin brother Hisato has been called up for the NT friendly against Ecuador tonight) scored the winner for Chiba. Sanfrecce's Koji Morisaki (who also shares the J leaguer's career with twin brother Kazu, also a Sanfrecce player) was placed in the forward position (he's usually a midfielder) by manager Ono. He's been in a funk and has been out of the league games, so this was a good way for Ono to bring K.Morisaki back into the game.

Yokohama F Marinos 1-0 Avispa Fukuoka
YFM: Magrao 12min
Fukuoka will have to wait until April to get their first win in the J1. This match-up with Yokohama resulted in only 6 shots taken (only 1 shot in the first half), reflecting the degree Marinos overwhelmed them. Avispa are hurting, with many regulars injured. The club's priorities for the league outweigh Cup responsibilities. This meant that in order to rest most of his players for league duties, manager Matsuda switched out 6 regular starters -- two of the switched-in players were making their professional debut -- allowing them to just eke past the Jleague rules concerning player selection. (The rule for the Nabisco is that 6 of the players have to have started in 1 of the 5 league games so far.) Avispa have 2 losses 4 draws but still 0 wins.

Kashima Antlers 4-1 Oita Trinita
KA: Tashiro 11min; Masuda 37min, 89min; Honda 82min
OT: Osmar 59min
When Osmar scored for Oita at 59 minutes, the atmosphere in the team was on the up and up. They had closed the gap to 2-1 at that point, and motivation to catch up and surpass Kashima was high. Oita boss Chamusca made sure express his irritation at the 82nd minute PK call by the ref, which game Kashima their third goal. "We were trying a new system with some new players, and just as we were getting things together in the second half the ref destroyed our motivation." (Chamusca) Kashima's Tashiro scored his first goal in almost a year -- a header off Araiba's free kick. Tashiro injured ligaments in his left knee last summer. Antlers' Masuda also made an impact with two goals.

Urawa Reds 2-0 FC Tokyo
UR: Escudero 62min, Sakai 89min
Escudero marked his first official match goal last night. At 17 years 6 months and 28 days, this makes him the second youngest player to score a J goal (after Verdy's Morimoto). Escudero, as you know, is currently holding Spanish and Argentinian dual citizenship, but dreams of playing for Japan in the future.

Kyoto Purple Sanga 3-4 Kawasaki Frontale
KPS: Hayashi 29min, Alemao 71min, Paulinho 83min
KF: Nakamura 6min; Marcus 11min, 68min, 79min
A truly multi-goal game typical of these two clubs. Kyoto were desperate to catch up after allowing Kawasaki to take a 2-goal lead in the second half, putting in Alemao and Paulinho, but it was just not enough to catch up in time. Sanga's defense line fell apart, and it took them a little time to get it back together. Kawasaki's Marcus ends the night with a hattrick -- what is this, the third hattrick for a Frontale player?
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2006/03/30(木) 20:00:23 |
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