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Saturday, 24 July 2010

S-Pulse Escape Mizuho with a Point

A free-flowing game between the second and third placed teams ends in a 3-3 stalemate. And why? All because Grampus manager Pixy Stojkovic foolishly watched Keiji Tamada blast a penalty over the bar. What was he thinking? He never watches penalties, and now we know why. :-)

We again got off to a good start, closing down Shimizu to deny them space, while gaining the upper hand ourselves. Having already sent one shot fizzing wide, Keiji Tamada gave us a deserved lead after only nine minutes, after a good build-up by Kennedy and Kanazaki. Shimizu gradually got into the game, but pulled level with a rather fortuitous goal. Former Grampus striker on hand to nod home from close range after a cross came back of the bar.

Kennedy header form pinpoint Kanazaki criss cleared off the line.Another Josh header from cross by Nakamura sails over. An Ono shot from corner of area comes back of inside of post and clear. Johnsen shot tipped round post by Narazaki. Okazaki diving header well saved by Nara form close-range, even if the effort would have been ruled out for offside Tamada restores the lead just before half time, getting the faintest of touches to a cross by Abe, but it is enough to divert the ball into the far corner.

HT: 2-1

Shimizu competed a bit more effectively in this half and managed to keep possession batter than they had in the first. Indeed they had the best early chance, as Okazaki out paced Tulio in a chase for the ball, forcing the Brazilian born defender to pull him back, earning a yellow card in the process. We then had a great opportunity to take a two-goal lead, when Masukawa was fouled in the Shimizu area. However, Tamada was a bit too casual as shipped the kick over the bar. He had a chance to make amends shortly after this, but his first touch after being put through the middle was too heavy and allowed the keeper to collect the ball.Okazaki pulled the visitors level again midway through the half, with a sharp curling drive that flew inside the far post.

Kanazaki restored the lead with a well taken goal after being released through the middle, cutting inside a defender and sending an accurately placed shot inside the far post. However, we again proved unable to maintain the lead as a couple of minutes later Eddy Bosnar rose unchallenged to head home the final goal of the encounter and earn the visitors a share of the points.

Highlights. First half only, sorry. But it was a cracking half.
Seigo Narazaki
Hayuma Tanaka, Tulio, Takahiro Masukawa, Shohei Abe
Naoshi Nakamura, Danilson, Magnum (Keita Sugimoto 74’)
Mu Kanazaki, Josh Kennedy (Yoshizumi Ogawa 51’), Keiji Tamada (Alex Santos 79’)

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