Sunday, 20 September 2009

Magnum and Ogawa Sink Ardija

In a game that saw Grampus revert to its tried, if not entirely trusted, 4-4-2 formation, they eased to a comfortable 2-0 win over lowly Omiya. The game also saw new recruit Igor sitting on the bench, as Magnum made his return after serving a two-match ban.

It will be interesting to see which formation gets used the most, over the remainder of the season. Burzanovic has looked increasingly more at home in the team, and is probably a better option for getting the best out of Tamada. However, he is not suited to a defensive/holding role, and is therefore better suited to the 3-5-2 formation employed over recent games. (Unfortunately, the three-back system needs a more reliable player in the centre than Bajalica has proved to be.) Magnum on the other hand, is more likely to provide the kind of crosses that Josh Kennedy thrives on. He is also a willing, if sometimes over exuberant, bustler in midfield.

Although this game resulted in a comfortable win for Nagoya, this was due as much to Omiya not being very good, rather than a great display from us. Yes, it was a much better performance than our last couple of games, but still far short of our best displays from last year. The first half saw the Saitama team become increasingly frustrated as Nagoya's pressing game prevented them from making any progress. This frustration was further increased whenMagnum chested in Ogawa's low free kick, after Kennedy had been fouled on the edge of the box. Although Ardija made more of an impression in the second half, their exertions were easily handled by Maya and Masukawa. The less than convincing Hirono was rarely troubled, and only had to make a couple of parries of long-range shots.

Tamada and Kennedy were industrious up front, and again looked an effective combination. The first half saw several close calls for Ardija as last-ditch challenges or under hits passes prevented the duo from adding to their tally for the season. Aussie striker Kennedy saw a typically powerful header well saved by Ezumi in the first half, and also saw one shot flash wide. However, his best opportunities came towards the end of the game, when Igor Burzanovic's tricky work down the left channel created a couple of great chances for the Socceroo. The first saw his shot on the turn come back off the inside of the far post. The second saw a similar effort skid just wide.

Omiya Ardija
Koji Ezumi
Kohei Tokita, Yosuke Kataoka, Mato, Yasuhiro Hato
Takuya Aoki (Dudu 83), Hayato Hashimoto, Naoki Ishihara, Chikara Fujimoto (Tomoya Uchida 73)
Rafael, Yoshihito Fujita (Park Won Jae HT)

Nagoya Grampus
Koichi Hirono
Hayuma Tanaka, Maya Yoshida, Takahiro Masukawa, Shohei Abe
Yoshizumi Ogawa, Naoshi Nakamura (Alex Santos 87), Keiji Yoshimura, Magnum (Igor Burzanovic 80)
Keiji Tamada (Keita Sugimoto 83), Josh Kennedy
Scorers: Magnum 28, Ogawa 78

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