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Sunday, 21 March 2010

Kansai Roundup (Round 3)

Another quick look at how our local teams fared over the weekend.

Vissel logo

Shimizu S-Pulse 1-0 Vissel Kobe


Eddie Bosnar's stunning free kick sinks Kobe, just as they looked likely to hold out for well-earned draw. Okubo played the full 90 minutes, but rarely threatened the S-Pulse goal and is clearly still feeling the effects of his injury.

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Kyoto Sanga 2 - 1 Vegalta Sendai


The second home game in a raw at Nishikyogoku and this time Sanga managed to send their fans home happy with a win. They were out shot 19-6, and Sendai had the bulk of possession, but the home team made their few chances count. An encouraging win that sees the team rise into the top half of the table.

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FC Tokyo 0-0 Cerezo Osaka


Another encouraging performance from the cherry pink side of Osaka, and another draw. The return of Korean goalie KIm kept them in the game during the first half when FC Tokyo had the advantage, but the visitors should have stolen it at the end as Ryuji Bando missed a couple of glorious opportunities to seal the win.

Peter Pakeman beamed in the following report on this game:
Despite the lack of goals, this was another fascinating game, especially for those interested in seeing how Cerezo will do in J1. A draw was a fair result but it could easily have been 3-3.

As well as getting Kim back, Culpi changed the outfield by dropping Amaral, moving Haneda up to right wide midfielder to take Amaral's place and replacing Haneda with Fujimoto in the back three. At the news level, this came as a complete surprise to me as I had seen no hint of injury to Amaral since his unexplained non-appearance in the friendlies on February 27 or that Culpi was thinking of doing this. At the football analysis level, I understand it: as I wrote to you guys Amaral is nothing special (unlike Martinez, who is terrific) and in previews for the first game some who's whos expected Fujimoto to start. I also like Fujimoto.

For some reason, Cerezo players sometimes had difficulty keeping their feet, and this came back to hurt them as, after a brilliant bit of individual work, Kagawa slipped in the Tokyo box at the death. Even more at the death, Bando missed a sitter with the second-last kick of the game--after his miss there was only the goal kick.

I think that will do for now. I'm anxious to get back to Villa v. Wolves, but here are the stats:
Tokyo > Cerezo
Shots: 10 > 10
GKs: 11 > 9
CKs: 5 > 2
FKs: 14 > 25
Poss.: 49% > 51%

Cerezo have virtually held their own with Gamba and FC Tokyo in successive weeks.


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Gamba Osaka 0-0 Albirex Niigata


A far less encouraging point was 'earned' over at Banpaku, as the home team struggled to overcome a team they should easily have beaten. This game was highlighted by a petulant fit by Brazilian Pedro Junior, after failing yet agin to impress and being subbed 20 minutes after he himself came on as a sub.

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Tokushima Vortis 3 - 1 JEF United


Naruto based Vortis, made it three on the trot, with former Grampus forward Tsuda capping another good game with a goal. This leaves only Yokohama FC and Vortis themselves with maximum points from three games.

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