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Saturday, 26 February 2011

J1 Almost Here (Grampus Claim Super Cup)

Today sees the annual preseason game between the League Title Holders and the Emperor's Cup Holders. This year sees Grampus facing off against the Antlers. (Added video highlights, 27 Feb.)

Our starting lineup for today's game is:
GK; Narazaki
DF; Tanaka, Tulio, Masukawa, Abe
MF; Ogawa, Naoshi, Fujimoto
FW; Kanazaki (Yoshimura 71), Josh, Tamada (Hanai 86)

Subs; Takagi, Chiyotanda, Alex Santos, Yoshimura, Hanai, Isomura, Hashimoto

However, I expect the formation to look more like this. ;-)
Xerox Super Cup formation

First Half

This was a fairly even 45 minutes, with both teams looking in reasonable nick. THe slick passing that highlighted much of the latter half of last season for Grampus was evident again. There were some promising moves, but the understanding between the players still needs a bit of work. However, it was the Antlers who had the best chance of the half. Osako rattling the bar with an effort from a tight angle that Narazaki got a faint touch on.

Second Half

The Antlers started this half looking the more aggressive, but fell behind when Masukawa nodded home a Fujimoto free kick in the 54th minute. Nozawa pulled them level 10 minutes later with a perfectly struck free kick that cleared the wall and flew in to Nara's top left corner. Neither team could grab a winner, so the game went to penalties. Ultimately decided in favour of the team with the better keeper.

PK Shoot Out
Grampus    - Antlers
Josh x - x Iwamasa (both saved)
Fujimoto o - o Motoyama (both giving the keeper no chance)
Alex o - x Alex (No. Not the same one stupid.)
Ogawa o - x Araiba (Narazaki saving his third shot of the shootout.)

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