Sunday, 31 October 2010

Grampus Open Up 11-point Gap

Both Gamba and the Antlers lost this weekend (Ganba 2-4 Vissl, Albirex 2-1 Antlers), meaning that we now enjoy an eleven point lead at the top. This gives us effectively a four game cushion with six games to go. A win next week at Kashima would all but mathematically rule out Kashima from any chance of the title, and means that all the pressure will be on them to keep things 'interesting' for at least another week.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

No Tulio. No Mu. No Chance...

... for Cerezo Osaka.
We still had Josh fit and that was enough as the lanky Aussie converted a first half penalty to give us all three points. The visitors has the edge in possession (51-49%) and 'shots' (18-10), but failed to make it count. Another game gone, and we still have at least an eight point lead at the top. Now it is up to Gamba and the Antlers to show they can also live with the pressure and maintain their challenge.

Grampus Lineup
Seigo Narazaki
Hayuma Tanaka, Mitsuru, Chiyotanda, Takahiro Masukawa, Shohei Abe
Naoshi Nakamura (Akira Takeuchi 88’), Danilson, Magnum, Yoshizumi Ogawa (Igor Burzanovic 79’)
Josh Kennedy, Keiji Tamada (Keita Sugimoto 65’)

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Grampus Eke Out Another Three Points

Despite being outshot 15-11 by a home team desperate for some points, Grampus emerge from Home's Stadium Kobe with all three points. First half goals from Tamada and Danilson proving enough to ensure the 2-1 win and means they will end the weekend with at least their existing eight-point lead at the top of the standings.

There are seven games left of the season, but the next two against Cerezo then the Antlers are likely to decide whether we get another nail-biting end to the season or an early victory parade in Nagoya.

Seigo Narazaki
Hayuma Tanaka, Tulio, Takahiro Masukawa, Shohei Abe
Yoshizumi Ogawa, Danilson, Magnum (Keita Sugimoto 66’), Mu Kanazaki (Igor Burzanovic 59’)
Josh Kennedy, Keiji Tamada (Mitsuru Chiyotanda 85’)

Monday, 18 October 2010

Complacent Grampus Crash at Niigata (Again)

We may may broken our Kashima Satadium hoodoo, but Niigata Stadium till has us firmly in its grip it seems, A promising first half, that saw us have much the better if the game, ended with the home team go in 2-1 up after making the best of their few chances. The second half saw them extend their lead to 4-1 after Noashi Nakamura was dismissed early in the half for a second bookable offense.

Grampus Linup
Seigo Narazaki
Hayuma Tanaka, Tulio, Takahiro Masukawa, Shohei Abe
Naoshi Nakamura, Danilson, Magnum (Alex Santos 66'), Mu Kanazaki (Yoshizumi Ogawa 66')
Josh Kennedy, Keiji Tamada (Igor Burzanovic 78')

Monday, 11 October 2010

Nagoya Ease into Emperors's Cup 4th Round

A significantly changed team proves too much for J2's Sapporo and eased into the next round of the Emperor's Cup on Saturday. Second half goals from Nakamura and Hanai in the 62st and 88th minutes, overturning Consadole's 51st minute strike. Although the defence and midfield was stacked with fairly familiar or experienced faces, the front three saw several youngsters given a chance to prove themselves.

THis game was most notable for us giving our players nursing injuries a game off. Neither Takahiro Masukawa or Danilson even made the bench, despite playing hurt against Vegalta in the previous game. Pxie's gamble on youth paying off when Sho Hanai fired home the winner a couple of minutes from time. With the demise of the Satellite League this year, the youngsters need to make the most of these few opportunities to impress the manager in a competitive game.

Next up? Go on, take a wild guess. Or look at who we are playing next in the league. :-)

Grampus Lineup
                        Yoshinari Takagi
Hayuma Tanaka, Mitsuru Chiyotanda, Akira Takeuchi, Alex Santos
Yoshizumi Ogawa, Naoshi Nakamurs, Magnum (Taishi Taguchi 90')
Keita Sugimoto, Keiji Tamada (Yuki Maki HT), Koji Hashimoto (Sho Hanai 68')

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Zaccheroni Off to Flying Start

The Japan national team maintained the positive momentum they built up during the World Cup to record a win over traditional powerhouse Argentina. Whether this proves to be good for the Italian, remains to be seen. It is likely to lead to unrealistic expectations in some quarters.

Fielding a starting lineup that rested hurting Grampus stalwart Tulio, the team proved that it is still able to defend even without either Yuji Nakazawa or Tulio at the heart of the back line. An impressive team display saw them limit Messi, Tevez and Co., to a handful of half chances, with Kawashima only called into serious action to save a free kick.

Even the Argie highlights struggle to find clear chances for their team.
Japan Lineup

Eiji Kwasahima (Shusaku Nishikawa 85')
Yuto Nagatomo, Yuzo Kurihara, Yasuyuki Konno, Atsuto Uchida
Shinji Kagawa (Kengo Nakamura 77'), Yasuhito Endo (Yuki Abe 71'), Makoto Hasegawa, Keisuke Honda
Shinji Okazaki (Kunimitsu Sekiguchi 71'), Takayuki Morimoto (Ryoichi Maeda 65')
Other Views
Japan Times: Zaccheroni records win in Japan debut
Asahi Shimbun: Zaccheroni Japan impressive

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Grampus Ease Past Sendai 2-1

Well the The Rising Sun's pet theory of a J.League conspiracy to ensure tight finishes lasted for 45 minutes today. Then Pixy got to gee up the team at half time. Not quite the five goal mauling we gave Shimuzu, last week, but it's another game gone and we still have a seven point lead at the top. Can Gamba reduce that to five later today? Maybe not.

Seigo Narazaki
Hayuma Tanaka, Tulio, Takahiro Masukawa, Shohei Abe
Naoshi Nakamura, Danilson, Magnum (Yoshizumi Ogawa 76’), Mu Kanazaki (Alex Santos 87’)
Josh Kennedy, Keiji Tamada (Mitsuru Chiyotanda 82’)
Scorers: Josh 57', Yoshizumi 88'