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Sunday, 11 April 2010

Cerezo's 10 men hold Marinos

Peter reports in on Cerezo's battling performance against the Marinos.

Cerezo put up a heroic defence to hold the Marinos for over 50 minutes (including 4 mins injury time) to a 0-0 draw, after key man Martinez had received a ridiculous straight red card just before the end of the first half. Martinez may have used two feet eventually but he came in from the side and got possession of the ball, with Kurihara, the Marinos player involved, looking the more reckless of the two. The problem was that it was a violent clash with both players going down, and, with Kurihara a current member of the Japanese team and Martinez a foreigner, I suppose we should not be surprised by the outcome: Japanese internationals are fragile plants who can do no wrong and have to be protected like delicate flowers. I'd like to see the incident again, but I'm pretty sure Martinez led with his right foot stretching for the ball and only moved his left foot up when he was well on the way to being flat on his back on the ground, the ball ending up actually right next to his right foot--because Martinez was hurt in the incident and the ref immediately blew the whistle, that was where it remained. Kurihara went down because Martinez had a firm foot on the ball! Martinez left the field a couple of minutes later on a stretcher, so perhaps it's a good job he'll have three-and-a-half games to recover!

Otherwise, the game was more or less a bore except for Cerezo fans. The Marinos had the best of the first 30 minutes but failed to score because of good defending, good goalkeeping by Kim, and some poor finishing. Then Cerezo started to come into the game and Cerezo fans started to hope that Culpi's Brazilian-style football would flourish in the second half; but this hope was nipped in the bud by the straight red to Martinez before half-time. After that it was heroic defence with Inui, Kagawa and Adriano (in the last ten minutes just Kagawa and Ienaga) doing a great job of posing enough threat to keep the Marinos defence off-balance and of consuming time.

Nakamura Shunsuke came on for the Marinos for the last ten minutes, had one free-kick well blocked by the wall, and a sumptuous cross from the right to the far post wastefully headed over by the unmarked Tanaka.

Formation:  3-5-2 (from 48' 4-1-3-1)
Haneda (Kurogi 87), Moniwa, Uemoto;
Takahashi, Amaral, Martinez, Kagawa, Omata;
Inui (Fujimoto 83), Adriano (Ienaga 86)

For the second half Omata moved back to LWB and Amaral to volante; the midfield became Takahashi, Kagawa, Inui. From the 83rd Fujimoto moved into the centre of the defence and Uemoto to RWB.

From the 87th Kurogi replaced Amaral as volante and Amaral moved into the middle/front 4. For the last 4 minutes (8 including added time) the formation was 4-1-4, with the midfield/front 4 showing quite a lot enterprise.

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