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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Kennedy Bags Away Goal in ACL Quarter-final

In the opening 45 minutes, iIt looked like Frontale had half a mind on the league title. (If they duly close out their downpour interrupted game against Kashima, they will close the gap to four points, with eight games to go. Close enough for Frontale to entertain realistic hopes of catching them. But also close enough to force the Antlers to concentrate on what they are doing.) However, having allowed Joshi Kennedy to give Nagoya an away goal with a header, they fought back in the second half to grab a 2-1 lead.

Inevitably, one of the scorers for Frontale was Juninho, who has tormented our defenders every time we have met this season. No matter who Pixie chose alongside Yoshida, they were always likely to struggle to contain the lively Brazilian. He embarrassed Bajalica in the last meeting between the two sides, and Masukawa was never really like to do much better. However, Grampus made a better game of this encounter than pervious meetings this year and bring an away goal beck for the home leg next week. (Whether they can stop Frontale scoring an away goal of their own, remains to be seen.)

Jesus's goal came from a well-placed header that crept inside the near post. The lanky Soccceroo fearlessly out jumping his marker, despite some fairly crude attempts foul him earlier in the game. Kawasaki's equalizer came from a free kick that saw Moses Nakamura's kick part our wall like the Red Sea. Ogawa jumping out of the way to leave the ball a clear path into the near corner that gave Hirono little chance of making a save. The winner has been credited to Juninho, who tapped home the rebound after Hirono parried an effort onto the bar. None of the replays have shown a view along the goal line, and it looked suspiciously like the ball may have crossed the line before bouncing out to the Brazilian.

Kawasaki Frontale
Eiji Kawashima
Tomonobu Yokoyama, Hiroki Ito, Yusuke Igawa
Kosuke Kikuchi, Kengo Nakamura, Hiroyuki Taniguvhi, Yusuke Mori
Juninho, Chong Tese, Renahtinho (Satoru Yamagishi 79)
Scorers: Nakamura 59, Juninho 63

Nagoya Grampus
Koichi Hirono
Hayuma Tanaka, Maya Yoshida, Takahiro Masukawa, Shohei Abe
Yoshizumi Ogawa, Naoshi Nakamura (Alex Santos 87), Keiji Yoshimura (Igor Burzanovic 71), Magnum
Keiji Tamada (Yuki Maki 87), Josh Kennedy
Scorers: Kennedy 27

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