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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Grampus Claim First ACL Points of 2011

This game saw Nagoya start their first competitive game for a month. The lack of match practice became increasingly apparent as the game wore one, with the visitors looking the better team in the second half. We started with Nagai upfront, alongside Kennedy and Kanazaki since Tamada is nursing a sore knee.

Grampus lineup versus FC Seoul

Seoul started brightly in the first half, with their simple approach creating a couple of half chances, but they soon found themselves behind. Nagai pounced on a poor bit of control in midfield to burst through the middle and flick the ball home with the outside of his foot, as the keeper closed him down. Seoul pressed effectively to prevent us from establishing our rhythm, but rarely threatened themselves. A Fujimoto free kick was well parried by the keeper, after Nagai had been felled by a high challenge. After this we gradually started to establish our rhythm, but the Koreans kept us under enough pressure to prevent creating clear openings.

Seoul again got off to slightly the better start, stringing some neat moves together, but again failed to test Narazaki. The speedy Nagai chased down a back pass and almost grabbed a second as the flustered keeper dithered and eventually had to clear hurriedly. Kanazaki and Nagai then combined well to set up a good chance for Mu, but the Mie native shanked his shot over the bar. However, the visitors looked calm in possession and pulled level when full back Choi Hyun Tae blasted home from 30 yards. Josh Kennedy being a bit lax in allowing the player time to set himself off. Seoul continued to look the slightly sharper, with both Ogawa and Fujimoto failing to impress. Both are more inclined to attack than defend, but the two have not gelled yet, in the three games the team has played so far this season. Fujimoto was replaced by rookie Makito Yoshida after 73 mins. Despite Seoul's edge in possession and speed of thought, it was Grampus that had the better chances to claim the victory. Nagai saw his snap shot drifts wide after the keeper had fluffed an attempted clearance, and late sub Chiyotanda rushed a shot in additional time.

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