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Sunday, 24 May 2009

Jubilo Shunt Grampus Off Unbeaten Run

In a surprise move, Grampus started this game with both forward Maki and defender Takeuchi in from the start. They replaced Tamada and Tanaka respectively, despite playing in the midweek game against Beijing. We suspect, that keeping Tamada on the bench was a motivation issue, considering that it would be likely make him even more determined to make a impression when he did come on. Unfortunately, the loss of Ogawa near the end proved more decisive, as Iwata run out 2-1 winners in an absorbing contest of contrasting styles.

The first half saw Jubilo make the better start, with a couple of early chances going astray. Both Nishi and Gilsinho looking sharp and working hard to put pressure on Nagoya. In contrast to Iwata's testing, probing build-up, Nagoya' play was more ponderous and relied on longer balls from the side. These saw a Maya header from a free-kick sail just over the bar, and the hard-working Maki also send a glancing header from a corner over bar. Abe put over several useful crosses, that posed a serious threat to Jubilo defense. A downward Lee header proved too firm and bounced over the bar. Jubilo testing, probing attacks. Maeda free header, from corner, goes wide. Nishi header, from Yamamoto cross whipped in from the right, hit under-side of cross bar, but rebounded to safety. This proved to be Yamamoto's last contribution to events, as he was injured by Ogawa's challenge as he whipped the ball over. Deflected Naoshi shot forced Kawaguchi to tip over.

HT: 0-0

Jubilo started the second half as they had the first, with a Ueda volley from a Gilsinho cross going just wide. Tamada replaced the ineffective Nakamura 10 minutes into the half, and as expected dropped into a position just behind Maki and Davi. A rare accurate Takeuchi cross just eluded Davi. This was shortly followed by another Maki header from a good Abe cross that again drifted just wide of Kawaguchi's far post. Lee broke forward after dispossessing Maya near the halfway line, but was unable to get off a clear shot. He later tested Narazaki with a rising shot from a tight angle that forced the Nara native to tip the ball over.

Ogawa was dismissed 10 minutes from the end, after hauling down a Jubilo player to earn his second yellow card of the day. Jubilo promptly took the lead when Nasu neatly put way the rebound after a header had come back off the bar. A Naruoka 20-yarder then doubled Jubilo lead five minutes from the end. Davi pulled a goal back, with a glancing header from a Tamada free kick, as Jubilo paid the penalty for making a substitution before the kick. Tamada then saw a good effort saved as Nagoya pressed for the equalizer. Tamada and Davi combined well again on a free kick, this time Kawaguchi making a fingertip save to deny the Brazilian. Jubilo almost extended their lead early in injury-time when a quick break forced Narazaki into a good save. So, despite Grampus having the majority of the possession, it was Jubilo that made effective use of it, when they had the ball.

The loss sees Grampus Grampus fall back to seventh place, 10 points behind leaders Kashima, and they will resume league play, after the national team break, without Ogawa. The two yellow cards mean he will earn an automatic suspension for the next game against JEF United. On the other hand, Magnum is expected to rejoin the team in June, and may well be back in time for the resumption. The question is, can any of the youngsters (Fukushima and Hanai in particular) capitalize on a serious of mediocre performances by the midfield, to force their way into the team.

Jubilo Iwata
Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi
Yuichi Komano, Daisuke Nasu, Kentaro Ooi, Shuto Yamamoto
Kosuke Yamamoto (Sho Naruoka 35), Kota Ueda, Norihiro Nishi (Yoshiaki Ota 66), Gilsinho,
Lee Keun Ho (Rodrigo), Ryoichi Maeda
Scorers: Nasu 83, Naruoka 85

Seigo Narazaki
Akira Takeuchi (Hayuma Tanaka 66), Maya Yoshida, Takahiro Masukawa, Shohei Abe (Keita Sugimoto 85)
Naoshi Nakamura (Keiji Tamada 55), Kei Yamaguchi, Keiji Yoshimura, Yoshizumi Ogawa
Yuki Maki, Davi
Scorer: Davi 88

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