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Nabisco Cup April 12th Group Games
Cherry Blossom seasonHappy Spring, but it's been raining or drizzling for a week!

It was a busy Wednesday night. Good news from the Gamba ACL match, but also some extra mid-week football goodness from our Nabisco Group rounds.

>>click to go to the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup Info page I set up for all the tables and points and results and upcoming fixtures.

Urawa Reds 3-1 Avispa Fukuoka
AF: Alex 8min
UR: Horinouchi 25min, Yamada 55min, Tulio 83min

The only thing that came as a surprise was that Urawa allowed Fukuoka to score the first goal. This was the first time in all the league and cup games this season that Reds have allowed the opponent to score first, but they carried the game through to the end with level heads getting the win they wanted. Urawa's Ono has injured his ankle (oh, no, indeed), and Washington and Ponte were rested for this match. But they have more than enough quality players that did not disappoint the Reds domination.

Fukuoka's goal came when they got through on the right side with a counter. The ball was sent over to the left where sideback Alex had charged up and then scored. Reds equalized when a Soma corner kick met Horinouchi's right foot. In the second half, Reds' attack really warmed up. Yamada intercepted an Avispa pass, took the ball up himself for a one-on-one showdown with the goalie. Yamada got by the goalie and flicked a pretty loop shot for goal. The third goal came in the last minutes of the game. Soma got to the ball inside the box just at the goaliine, and he sent a cross to the far side where Tulio met it with his head.

Yokohama F Marinos 2-0 FC Tokyo
YFM: Kanou 57min, Kubo 89min
Could this be the start of a "different" Marinos? The Brazilian Triangle broke apart this past week after both Magrao and Marques suffered injuries that would take them out of play for at least 2-4 weeks. They had not won the past 3 games in the league, and I've been looking forward to seeing what manager Okada would do. He took a leap of faith and changed a bunch of players around, saying that he wanted to create/nurture a new backbone to the team by forcing the players to think for themselves.

Okada's gamble was a success, and Marinos played an aggressive and energetic game creating many opportunities. FC Tokyo, whose blueprint strategy is via the sides, were forced to pass around only in their own portion of the pitch. They could not go forward for fear of Marinos' speedy intercept-and-attack.

Marinos could have scored much earlier, given their chances, but finally the moment came at 57 minutes, when Sakata's cross from the left was tapped down by Tokyo keeper Doi. Substitute Kanou was there to push in the loose ball for the goal. Tokyo got a very good chance a few minutes later when Kajiyama sent a cannonball towards goal, but Marinos keeper Nemoto blocked. In injury time, substitute Kubo leapt forward to meet an Ueno free kick. Kubo lightly chipped the ball past the goalie for a comfortable 2-0 result.

Kashima Antlers 3-1 Kawasaki Frontale
KA: Alex Mineiro 39min, Ogasawara 63min, Fukai 89min
KF: Ganaha 85min

I actually had a feeling that Kashima would lose this one. Kawasaki afterall have only 1 Loss in the league, and after that disappointing loss to Gamba last weekend (the one in which Antlers gave away a PK in injury time when the score had been 0-0) the issue of Kashima's state of mind zipped through my head. I know, how disloyal or me, right? :)

Where other teams have had to rest many of their regulars for the Nabisco games, Kashima's Autuori directed all his regulars (with the exception of Fernando who still carries the knee injury) to get out there. And Kawasaki returned the favor with all of their best as well as the return of Ganaha. But here I was suprised to find that Kawasaki were fumbling around in the first half, and missed the two really Key opportunities that were presented them. The first was at 4 minutes, when a Nakamura through pass sent Ganaha through for a one-on-one with the goalie; but there instead of taking a quick shot he tried to dribble around the goalie and missed his chance. The second was at 60 minutes (in the second half, when Frontale had woken up to play more aggressively), when Motoyama took down Juninho as he entered the box. But Juninho's penalty shot was touched by the goalie, and bounced innocently off the bar. If either of these two had gone in, things may have turned out completely different.

Kashima were able to play exactly as they wanted to. They prevented Kawasaki's attackers from doing much, and their characteristic posession style was working for them. At 15 minutes, Alex Minero's pass got to forward Nozawa, but his goal was called off sides. At 39 minutes, it was rookie Uchida again, as he dashed up the right side. The corner kick that resulted from Uchida's effort was taken by Ogasawara, and Iwamasa met fast ball on the near to deflect, and Alex Mineiro dived in to head the ball for goal.

Kasawaki had to pull Marcao out, and his replacement Nishiyama was no match for Kashima's young sideback. Uchida made a run into the box with the ball, and Nishiyama fouled. The PK was taken by Ogasawara who converted for goal 2. With 15 minutes left on the clock, Autuori substituted in little speedy Fukai, who made good use of his opportunity to play -- running full speed about 65 meters to finish an effort by Alex Mineiro.

Jef Chiba 3-2 Albirex Niigata
JC: Nakajima 39min, Hanyu 69min, Maki 82min
AN: Suzuki 20min, Okayama 63min

Albirex started the game putting a lot of pressure on Chiba in their defense, creating momentum and energy on their side. It was Niigata that scored first -- Miyazawa took a shot, but the rain-wet ball slipped out of goalie Kushino's hands for Suzuki's goal. Jef equalized via a loose ball off a free kick.

What was strange was that in the second half, the Jef players decided on their own to have two of their players change positions, hoping to regain rhythm and stability. The two players in question, Mizumoto and Sakamoto were able to get more involved on the attack, and Jef looked to be improving their situation. However, an error in a kick by Jef goalie Kushino gave the ball to Niigata forward Okayama, who had only to dribble and finish to get his team ahead. The error was really bad timing considering Jef had finally started to get things running nicely, and psychologically should have been damaging.

It was interesting to read that after the game Niigata's goalie Nozawa applauded Chiba's attitude after that goal: "After we got that second goal, the Jef players showed amazing mentality." Instead of letting shoulders sag, they went after the win and ran and ran. Six minutes later, Hanyu scored with a drizzling shot to the right of goal. Albirex, who had been dominating in the first half, were by this time low on energy -- not being able to compete with Jef's running philosophy. And they allowed Maki that one opportunity to get his head on the ball -- that "once" was all Maki needed for the 3 points.

Shimizu S-Pulse 2-2 Sanfrecce Hiroshima
SS: Marquinhos 15min, Edamura 77min
SH: Koji Morisaki 32min, Sato 45min

A solid performance from both sides, making the draw less than satisfying for either teams. Sanfrecce's diamond midfield, arranged that way to care against Cho and Marquinhos, suffered from lack of cohesion in the first half. They got pulled apart, forcing the defense line to recede deep into their area, and the strategy of a compact formation fell apart.

First goal from S-Pulse was at 15 minutes -- a cross from the left to the far side of goal found Marquinhos free to head it in. However, Sanfrecce stayed on track to adjust slowly, creeping up the field and adding their numbers forward. At 32 minutes Komano on the right had an open space to receive a pass, and quickly sent in an early cross. Koji Morisaki dashed up from midfield to head the ball for the equalizer. The second half began with a lack of focus from S-Pulse this time, and a long ball right after kick-off to Ueno in the front allowed Sato to slip through and recieve a through pass for a finish with his left foot. But then things evened out again when S-Pulse persisted confidently on the attack, and they were rewarded when a loose ball picked up by Ichikawa for a mid-range shot ended with a goal. Both teams continued to keep compact formations and were aggressive on the attack, but in the end the draw may prove constly for both as fellow Group C Jef Chiba have now created a 4 point difference in the table.

Cerezo Osaka 1-1 Nagoya Grampus
NG: Honda 35min
CO: Furuhashi 55min

Both teams came to the game having to leave out 3-4 of their key players due to injury or fatigue. Both managers were more interested in damage control going forward, but I think Cerezo were the ones who came out of the game the more buoyant of spirit. Cerezo were more aggressive on the attack in the beginning, and also did well to put good pressure on defense. But it was Nagoya that scored first -- a free kick facing the goal almost dead center. Nakamura tapped it sideways to Sudo, who then tapped it sideways to Honda for the shot; a nice free kick play. After that Nagoya should have controlled, but they were unable to get any organization on the build-up process for the attack, and eventually Cerezo got their chance. Cerezo kept up their energy levels without losing motvation. In the second half a through pass was gotten to expertly by goalie Narazaki, but the ball he batted out was picked up by Furuhashi for goal.


Oita Trinita 2-1 Kyoto Purple Sanga
KPS: Matsuda 57min
OT: Takamatsu 59min, Own goal 73min


Ventforet Kofu 2-2 Jubilo Iwata
JI: Funatani 13min, Nishino 89min
VK: Yamazaki 49min, Hayashi 76min
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2006/04/14(金) 21:28:23 | | #[ 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。