Sunday, 3 May 2009

Grampus Cruise Past Sorry Sanga

Nagoya eased to a 1-0 away victory over Kyoto at Nishikyogoku yesterday afternoon. The narrow score line does not reflect the team's almost total domination of possession, but probably reflects that they did no more than they had to to win the game. For a Grampus fan, it was an encouraging performance especially as we were without Magnum, Tamada and Yoshimura. For Sanga fans, like Goru Noura at Oretachi no Kyoto, it will have been a worrying game. Such was Nagoya's control that for much of the game only Maya Yoshida and Takahiro Masukawa needed to play as out-and-out defenders, and still managed to marshal Diego and Paulinho fairly effectively.

The victory, which moves Grampus up to third, was comfortable if less than entertaining. Grampus were clearly trying to conserve energy and kept possession well against an opponent that was unable to force them to play better. The match gave youngster Shinta Fukushima useful playing time with the first team, and he acquitted himself well. He worked hard, alongside Kei Yamaguchi, as one of the holding midfielders and should have earned a chance to get more playing time, even if this may be as a substitute when Magnum and Yoshimura are available.

As for the game itself, there is not much to say. Nagoya controlled possession much of the time, but did not create many chances. (The statistics say they had two shots over the 90 minutes.) Davi scored with a simple header after good work by Keita Sugimoto close to half time and that was enough. The narrow lead proved sufficient as apart from the occasional counterattack, which Maya and Masu usually dealt with quite easily, Sanga did not look like scoring. Only a looping effort from Diego, that clipped the top of the bar, gave Narazaki any real work to do. (Having seen replays on SkaPa, it seems Grampus should have been awarded a penalty, when Davi was brought down midway through the opening half. No contact with the ball and clear contact with the Brazilian, but his reputation probably saved Sanga, as did the lack of appeals from our players apart from Davi himself.)

It was surprising to see Yohei Toyoda not get to play at all. He may be struggling to make an impression in J1, but he would have been motivated against his old club, and Sanga needed someone to try and make things happen up front. An opportunity last, I feel.

Kyoto Sanga
Yuichi Mizutani
Tatsuya Masushima, Hiroki Mizumoto (Koken Kato 89), Lee Jung Soo, Yuta Someya
Daigo Watanabe, Jun Ando, Yuto Sato, Takenori Hayashi (Yusuke Nakatani 67)
Diego, Paulinho (Kim Seng Yong 57)

Seigo Narazaki
Hayuma Tanaka, Maya Yoshida, Takahiro Masukawa, Shohei Abe
Kei Yamaguchi, Naoshi Nakamura (Taishi Taguchi 82), Shinta Fukushima (Tomohiro Tsuda 71), Yoshizumi Ogawa
Keita Sugimoto (Akira Takeuchi 83), Davi
Scorer: Davi 41

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