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Saturday, 15 August 2009

Frontale Capitalize on Disorganized Grampus

As expected, Alex and Igor made their official debuts in this game, both finding their way into the starting lineup. Not surprisingly given two new players, and with Ogawa and Tamada playing in unfamiliar positions, Frontale looked the more settled team in the opening minutes. Indeed they got off to a flying start when Juninho pounced on a loose ball and caught Bajalica flat-footed as he surged forward to plant the ball past Narazaki.

Although Nagoya managed the occasional threat, it was Frontale that always looked the more purposeful going forward. Ogawa failed to impress in his new central role, and looked more comfortable in he second half when he returned a wider position. Magnum also looked out of sorts, but still should have done better than blaze over from close range just before the end of the half.

HT: 1-0 to Frontale

Grampus reorganized at half time, with Ogawa switching to a wider position and Burzanovic moving into the creative midfield role. This saw Nagoya mount more attacks as they pressed for a goal. However, a lack of coordination saw most moves break down, or flounder as Kennedy failed to receive accurate service. The Australian battled gamely and often proved a vital link in the buildup, but was given little space in the vital third of the pitch.

Inevitably, Frontale, always good on the break anyway, added a second when Juninho headed home the rebound after Narazaki had done well to block his initial shot. However, Nagoya continued to probe and create the occasional move, Maki being guilty of a bed miss from a free header, which he sent flashing wide after a good cross by Tsuda.

As for our new recruits, Kennedy had reasonably good game, despite some poor service, but failed to overcome an effective Kawasaki defense. Alex, as always, tended to try and do too much on his own, and poor Igor looked a bit lost and still needs a game or two to fit into the team. Alex, with his accurate crosses (when he actually gets the ball across) was a logical starter, but starting Burzanovic in a team trying an unfamiliar formation was foolish and raises questions about the managers judgement. I hope the young Montenegrin can settle quickly. Despite his struggle to make a contribution in this game, he showed promise and looked slightly more at home in the second half when playing a more creative role. If he can find his feet in Japan, he looks a very useful addition to the squad.

FT: 2-0

Seigo Narazaki
Akira Takeuchi (Yuki Maki 66), Maya Yoshida, Milos Bajalica, Alex Santos
Yoshizumi Ogawa, Igor Burzanovic, Naoshi Nakamura (Kei Yamaguchi 75), Magnum (Tomohiro Tsuda 75)
Keiji Tamada, Joshua Kennedy

Kawasaki Frontale
Eiji Kawashima
Yusuke Mori, Kosuke Kikuchi (Tomonobu Yokoyama 73), Hiroki Ito, Kazuhiro Murakami
Shuhei Terada, Hiroyuki Taniguvhi, Kengo Nakamura
Chong Tese, Juninho, Satoshi Yamagishi (Yusuke Tasaka 64)
Scorers: Juninho 11, 73


manyar said...

What's up with the pitch at Mizuho? Looked awful on TV on Saturday.

Red Orca said...

Yes. Mizuho looked dodgy, as do many pitches in mid-summer here. The ground staff usually do a better job of getting it ready for games. Not sure why it was so bad this time.