Saturday, 25 July 2009

Vissel Falter Against Ardija

Our friendly neighbourhood wolf, Peter, gives us his take on Vissel's game against Omiya.

Kobe starting XI: the same as the last two weeks except that Yoshida
replaces last week's Mogi who replaced Ganaha from the week before. So
Koumoto still in central defence, Miyamoto still in midfield. According to the shirt name, we now no longer have an Oukubo but a Yoshito.
The team: Enomoto; Ishibitsu, Kitamoto, Koumoto, Uchiyama;
Park, Botti, Miyamoto, Kouga; Yoshida, Yoshito.

20 minutes gone, pretty even; Vissel a bit the livelier, but not necessarily superior so far. Yoshito has blazed two chances from the edge of the penalty area way over. The first was a lucky ricochet which left him running through but going a bit wide, the second was from a pull-back from Kouga on the left wing.

31' Uchiyama missed an open goal from a yard after a block on the line from a glancing header--over the top. 33' Yoshito beat the goalie to a ball outside the penalty area wide right, but the narrow-angle shot hit the outside of the near post. So it's Vissel creating most of the chances; but Ardija are not toothless. 35': Now it's Kouga's turn to miss a sitter, after Yoshito set him up at Kobe's left-hand post.

38' good move--a beautiful cross from Kouga headed just wide of the far post by Yoshito. A good effort. Good work by Yoshito had put Kouga away down the left.

40' a shot over by Ardija after a couple of corners.

HT: As half expected, Vissel are finding it more difficult against a team happy to defend. They have not managed to look as good in midfield as they did in the last two games. Apart from getting offside once, Yoshida has been virtually anonymous. Ishibitsu, who the last couple of weeks after Yoshito looked the best player in the side, has not been so prominent this week. Maybe one reason is that Oumiya have done most of their attacking down their left--if this is a strategy to keep Ishibitsu quiet, it seems to have worked. Kouga has looked good today.

47' terrific save from Oumiya goalie after a great shot from Park from about 30 yards.

GOAL: 50' sloppy give-away leads to a terrific 30-yard left-footer from Hashimoto, and the inevitable has happened: after missing so many chances Vissel are behind. The goal has put new life into Ardija.
An Ardija forward has just headed over from about five yards when completely unmarked.

GOAL: Ishihara, despite having two players on him on the edge of the
penalty area, is allowed to get away a weak shot, which, for some unknown reason, Enomoto allows to go just inside his right-hand post.

62' Park out, Mogi in.
67' Yoshida out, Tanaka in.
74' Good save by Ardija goalie from a Kouga free-kick--but straight over his head.
76' Kouga out, Ganaha in. Kobe now have three forwards.
81' Vissel have recovered their spirits and rhythm a bit, but just lack
accuracy when it really matters.

GOAL: 89' Mogi takes it to the goal-line and squares it to Yoshito who scores from point-blank range.
Three extra minutes.

Post-match comments:

Kobe were better than against Shimizu. Rather than having no ideas, today's main impression was of a lack of technical skill. Kobe could not execute, either in scoring from good chances in the first half or in creating chances in the second half.
Maketa. Gakkuri! But the main reason for being gakkuri is that once Oumiya were in front, Vissel didn't really look like scoring, so it was a bit of a surprise when they did. But, at least, they kept on fighting until the end. However, if Vissel are to avoid relegation they have to work on execution.

After all, Ardija were the team above them in the table, so are one of
their main relegation rivals. Regrettably, they looked the more decisive team. Given space Vissel look quite good, but when a team comes to close them down, they lack the precision to be convincing.

I've just watched the highlights: Kitamoto looked like a sick carthorse as he trailed after the Ardija scorer Ishihara, who was just too good and fast for him, and other defenders were too slow to challenge Ishihara. As I've hinted before, Kitamoto is becoming a serious problem--not a good omen considering he's a sacred cow! It's difficult not to fault Enomoto on both goals. In defence, Vissel may be in trouble--a faltering centre-half and a suspect goalie.

The rest of the team looks quite promising, but how it needs a scorer like Leandro or Kondou to back up Yoshito. Yoshito can't do it all by
himself--and the other forwards find it difficult to hit a barn door with a banjo. The first half today was the story of half-a-dozen squandered goals.

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