Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Grampus Win!

At the fourth time of asking (fifth, if you count the Super Cup), Nagoya finally get a win in 90 minutes. They romped to a comfortable 4-0 win over Al Ain in the ACL. The vital win resurrects their ACL campaign ahead of next week's clash with group leaders FC Seoul.

Grampus lineup vs Al AinNot the 4-4-2 formation the club lists, and Fujimoto and Ogawa interchanged freely, but this is a better indication of the positions Nagai and Kennedy took up.

First half – Nagoya got off to a lively start with an Ogawa shot clipping the bar after only three minutes. A few minutes later Kennedy had a chance on edge of six-yard box but his control let him down. Al Ain finally took advantage of the space they were being allowed on the flanks and a shot from the right edge of the box flies over. El Ain gradually gained the advantage for the next few minute and Narazaki was forced into a good save after a break through the middle. However they fell behind close to the half hour mark when Kanazaki tucked home after being put through by a neat Kennedy lay-off. Al Ain came back strongly, and Elias blasted over after another dangerous break. Nagoya finally started started to gain the edge in possession in the final third of the half, but the UAE team continued to look dangerous on the break and were being too many free shots. Fortunately, it was easy to see why they have failed to score yet. Despite some promising positions they shooting was woefully inaccurate. Josh Kennedy looked set to extend our lead a few minutes but fluffs a chance from 2 yards after good work by Nagai. Al Ain midfielder Elias had a golden opportunity to pull them level after 38 mins sliced wide with the goal at his mercy. The half looked like ending with us holding out for a narrow one-goal lead, Kanazaki snook in ahead of Kennedy to nod home a second two minutes into the one minute of added time. Second half – The first chance of the second half fell to Al Ain who earned a free kick on edge of box after two minutes, but they failed to test Narazaki with another woeful effort. A much sharper looking Grampus were pressing far more effectively than in the first and this prevent the visitors from getting forward as much. This saw us gradually assume control and both Kanazaki and Kennedy drew fouls on the edge of box as the Arabian defenders started to struggle to contain our movement. Narazaki was only called into serious action once during the half when he tipped over a good effort from edge of box after 14 minutes. On the quarter hour mark, Nagai looked all set to add to the lead but slipped as he tried to volley home a cross from the right, sending his effort inches wide. A minute later, we did extend our lead when Keita (no relation to Sugimoto) put past his own keeper when Masukawa pulled the ball back across the face of goal after Tulio had challenged for the initial ball. Stojkovic then switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation, with the introduction of Yoshimura for Kanazaki. This allowed Ogawa and Fujimoto to take up more attacking positions and the tactic soon paid off after Ogawa is put through after a neat ball from Fujimoto, but Yoshizumi fluffed his shot for an easy safe. Fujimoto was next, heading over from close-range after Nagai had scampered down the left and whipped in a testing cross. Shortly after the half hour though, Fujimoto felled as he broke clear through the middle. Fares Juma receiving a red card for his desperate lunge. Jungo calmly curled home the free kick. As the game wound down Grampus gave some time to young subs Yoshida and Isomura, but the team failed to add to its tally.

Scorers: Mu 27', 45+2', OG 61', Jungo 77'

The Mainichi View: Soccer: Kanazaki at the double as Grampus pick up ACL win

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