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Saturday, 14 August 2010

Grampus Go Top

Nagoya climb to the top of the standings, as Shimizu lose and the Antlers draw. Goals from Tulio and brace for Keiji Tamada add to Urawa's woes with a comfortable 3-1 win.

For the third week running, an opponent failed to capitalise on us getting off to a slow start. Edmilson and Kashiwagi having early chances in the opening minutes, but failing to even test Narazaki. Tatsuya Tanaka also had an early chance in front of goal, but saw his chested effort easily scooped up by the Japan international. After this early flurry for the visitors, the game settled into a fairly even contest with most Urawa build-ups floundering on the solid rock of the now fully alert Masukawa and Tulio. Meanwhile, our own attacks, being fairly predictable crosses into Kennedy were easily countered. Midway through the half, however, Urawa again gained the edge briefly with Edmilson and Tanaka both stinging Narazaki’s fingers. Our first serious effort did not come until the 30th minute, when Kennedy did well to his a shot on the turn but the effort was deflected for a corner. The half then played out to fairly even stalemate as neither team was able to gain the advantage and ended 0-0.

We again improved dramatically in the second half, pressing far more effectively and gradually started to assert control. We started to add a bit of variety to our attack and occasionally try and play the ball through the middle. The space this created lead to the opening goal as a pinpoint Magnum cross picked out Tulio in the centre. The Brazilian-born defender powering home the header from close range. We almost added a second immediately after this, but both Josh and Mu failed to connect cleanly as the rocky Reds defence suffered a panic attack. We continued to probe dangerously, but failed to carve out another clear opening. Then from out of nowhere, Ugajin unleashed a thunderbolt from the just outside the corner of the box to pull the visitors level. Poor Tatsuya Tanaka then suffered another injury blow, unluckily having his arm dislocated as Danilson helped him to his feet after a challenge. So, midway though the half, the game was till evenly poised.

The next few minutes saw the teams exchange a few half-hearted attempts, but without Tanaka’s finesse Urawa never really looked convincing and soon fell decisively behind to a Tamada brace with five minutes. The first goal, saw the speedster pounce on the ricochet after Kennedy’s effort had been blocked. And although Yamagishi got a hand to the effort he was unable to keep it out. The second owed much to the hustle of Kanazaki as he stole into gain possession from some careless play at the back. A quick exchange with Kennedy released Tamada in the centre and he made no mistake form 10 meters. Josh should have added a fourth as the clock wound down, but having beautifully controlled an ALex pass and turned his defender, the Aussie stroked his curling shot the wrong side of the far post.

Seigo Narazaki
Hayuma Tanaka (Akira Takeuchi 90+2’), Tulio, Takahiro Masukawa, Shohei Abe
Danilson, Igor Burzanovic (Yoshizumi Ogawa 71’), Magnum
Mu Kanazaki (Alex Santos 86), Josh Kennedy, Keiji Tamada