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Thursday, 20 August 2009

Kennedy & Tamada Strike to Lift Grampus

Resuming their promising partnership, both Josh and Keiji score as Nagoya rolled to a fairly comfortable 2-0 win over JEF United. The results lifts Grampus to 11th, nine points above the relegation zone, and leaves JEF six points off safety. The Chiba foxes will do well to escape the drop this year, especially as they no longer have Alex Miller in charge.

This match saw more shuffling of the Nagoya pack, with a back line consisting of Maya alongside Bajalica and Masukawa. This proved surprisingly effective, although JEF did not gave them a severe test. We also saw the return of the twin terriers, Keiji and Naoshi, to give some bite in defensive midfield. This indicates that Stojkovic is flexible in his approach and willing to adjust our formation to match the requirements of a game.

Josh Kennedy gave Grampus a well-deserved 1-0 lead at half time, although he was somewhat lucky to see the rebound from his initial effort creep over the line after ricocheting back of his shins. However, he had already seen one good shot on goal saved by the JEF 'keeper and come close with a header. Our new Montenegrin signing, Burzanovic, also had a happier time, looking more at ease in this game and coming close to opening his goal-scoring account. Unfortunately, an extra touch as he advanced on goal gave the keeper that extra bit of time needed to make a save. He is still struggling to adapt to Japan, and the team, but again showed promise of better things to come.

The second half saw JEF make more of a game of it, but rarely had the sharpness or accuracy to disturb Narazaki. Tamada added the second midway through the second half, a low stooping header from a Ogawa cross, after Yoshimura and Santos had seen earlier efforts come to nought.

This was a much better performance by the team and saw them regain the shape and determination that was missing against Kawasaki. Gamba will pose a much tougher test this weekend, and will give us a better indication of our chances of making it into the top half of the table.

JEF United
Ryo Kushino
Masataka Sakamoto, Shohei Ikeda, Yohei Fukumoto, Ryota Aoki (Michael 83)
Tomi Shimomura, Masaki Chugo, Masaki Fukai (Ota 66), Kohei Kudo, Tatsuya Yazzawa (Tatsunori Arai 78)
Seiichiro Maki

Seigo Narazaki
Milos Bajalica, Maya Yoshida, Takahiro Masukawa
Naoshi Nakamura (Kei Yamaguchi 76), Keiji Yoshimura,
Yoshizumi Ogawa, Igor Burzanovic, Alex Santos (Shohei Abe 81)
Keiji Tamada, Joshua Kennedy (Yuki Maki 89)
Scorers: Kennedy 24, Tamada 75

Other Views
Japan Times: Kennedy, Tamada score as Nagoya ends two-game skid
TribalFootball Australia: Kennedy again on target for Nagoya Grampus

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