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Saturday, 18 July 2009

"Jesus" Opens Account, But Sanga Prevent Halleluiah Chorus

Grampus' new Australian forward, was an instant hit today. Scoring on the forty-second minute to give Grampus a half time lead. He linked well with his team mates, but a dubious looking penalty earns Kyoto a point.

Jesus got off to a good start, even if he was unable to get off to a winning start. His relaxed nature during the warm-up, which saw him trot down to the home end to greet his new fans, and positive contribution to a much improved team performance bode well for the future. On this showing, he may well be more reliable and effective than even Frode Johnsen was last year.

The first half saw Grampus using the wings much more effectively than they have recently. Kei Yamaguchi, Naoshi, and Shohei Abe all making effective forays down the flanks early on. Kennedy not only proved a useful target i the middle, but also shielded the ball well when he dropped back into deeper positions, and was able to lay the ball off to a team mate. He also showed some neat touches on the ball, with one drag-back outfoxing the two Sanga defenders trying to close him down. He also almost released Magnum through the middle with a deftly pass that saw a desperate lunge make just enough contact with the ball to avert the danger to Mizutani's goal. Indeed, Sanga did not manage to threaten Grampus until a predictable Masukawa slip gifted Yanagisawa a rare sniff off goal after 25 minutes.

The lanky Aussies first clear chance to open his account came in the40th minute, when a header from a Tamada cross drifted just over the bar. However, the big man made no mistake two minutes later, when a glancing header from Magnum's angled ball into the box, gave the Sanga 'keeper not chance. Nagoya 1-0 up and looking much the better team, with Sanga struggling to contain the Australian forward and posing only the occasional threat.

The second half saw former Grampus favourite, Yohei Toyoda, replace the ineffective Ando, but he was unable to alter the balance of the game. Nagoya continued to dominate possession and the chances. Magnum saw an early header under pressure drift over the bar, and almost connected with a ricochet from a Tamada effort a few minutes later. Tamada and Magnum almost engineered another goal midway through the half when a neat series of passes gave Magnum a clear sight of goal. His effort was blacked, but the loose ball fell to Tamada, who sliced the rebound wide.

Sanga finally got into the game on a more consistent basis when Paulinho, who had replaced Nakatani after 10 minutes of the half, agan to exert his influence. After several bursts into space in the box, he finally induced a challenge from Narazaki that won Sanga a dubious penalty. There was little, if any, contact by the Grampus custodian, but his outstretched arms were invitingly there to fall over. The crafty Brazilian made no mistake in doing so in spectacular style, and duly converted the kick.

Grampus pressed forward in search of a winner. 'Jesus' saw a header from an Ogawa corner drift wide and a close range shot parried by Mizutani as time ran out, but was unable save the team from two dropped points. However, it looks like he may well help the team turn its season around, and should certainly earn an extension of his six-month contract if he continues to play as well as he did yesterday.

Japanese highlights on YouTube.

Seigo Narazaki
Akira Takeuchi, Maya Yoshida, Takahiro Masukawa, Shohei Abe
Yoshizumi Ogawa, Naoshi Nakamura, Kei Yamaguchi, Magnum (Hayuma Tanaka 76)
Keiji Tamada, Joshua Kennedy
Scorer: Kennedy 42

Kyoto Sanga
Yuichi Mizutani
Kota Someya, Hiroki Mizumoto, Jung Soo Lee, Makoto Kakuda
Daigo Watanabe (Sidiclei 87), Yuto Sato, Jun Ando (Yohei Toyoda HT), Yusuke Nakatani (Paulinho 55)
Diego, Atsushi Yanagisawa
Scorer: Paulinho 81

Other views Socceroo Josh Kennedy Scores On Nagoya Grampus Debut
Australian FourFourTwo: Josh: Time For a Fresh Challenge (Interview with our new signing.)


Ben Somerford said...

gday mate,
i run a blog on aussie footballers playing abroad. i find it hard to get info on our asian based lads. if u wouldnt mind, could u throw in a bit more info on big Kennedy (we call him Jesus btw) in your weekly wraps.

anyway mate, i should also acknowledge nice blog. thanks

Red Orca said...

No worries mate,

I will adding much more detail shortly. Japanese reviews of the game are similar to my own impression from the highlights. Not only did 'Jesus' score with a good header, but also helped the team regain some of its shape that it lost with Davi as the main forward.


Ben Somerford said...

good onya mate cheers!