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Saturday, 15 March 2008

Pixie Conjures Up First Win as Manager

At Saitama Stadium no less. :-)
True, Urawa were pretty toothless in the first half and allowed Grampus to control the opening 45 minutes. However, any win against the Reds is a cause for celebration.

Johnsen headed in a cross after 14 minutes to give Nagoya a fully deserved lead after a bright opening. Urawa failed to seriously test Narazaki until just before the interval. However, they made a much stronger showing in the second half, rattling a post and forcing Narazaki into a couple of good saves and looking likely to equalize before the game was finished. Fortunately, Tsuzuki gifted Grampus a second goal after 23 minutes, Ogawa pouncing on his sloppiness, which took the wind of his team's sails and Grampus cruised to victory from then on in.

This was an important win that will give the team and manager confidence from a promising display. There will be sterner tests ahead, but it is looking like Stojkovic may well become a good manager. His calm and business-like demeanor was far from the fiery outbursts we have come to expect from Pixie the player, although I suspect we will get a few of those at some point. :-)

Team Lineups

Pos. Urawa Reds Nagoya Grampus Pos.
GK Ryota Tsuzuki Seigo Narazaki GK
DF Keisuke Tsuboi Jun Aoyama

(Takashi Miki, 75)
DF Satoshi Horinouchi Akira Takeuchi DF
DF Hajime Hosogai Maya Yoshida DF
DF Takahito Soma Shohei Abe DF
MF Tadaaki Hirakawa Yoshizumi Ogawa MF
MF Yuki Abe Naoshi Nakamura MF
MF Keita Suzuki

(Tsukasa Umesaki, 61)
Keiji Yoshimura MF
MF Nobuhisa Yamada Magnum

(Keita Sugimoto, 84)
FW Nnaohiro Takahara

(Yuichiro Nagai, HT)
Keiji Tamada

(Kei Yamaguchi, 89)
FW Edmilson Frode Johnsen FW

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