A truly heartbreaking game yet one that showed great promise. Mito played more than just one half well this time, and had only the second half of the first period to feature play that could not be described as top class. Mito played an exceptionally good defensive game at the start, to be brought to an abrupt end by a VERY controversial foul call in the keeper's box. The PK was taken by Paulinho, and Kyoto went one up. Mito became a bit sloppy in trying to recover, and a fine Kyoto play made it two up before the first half ended.The second half was a completely different story. Mito did not only play well, but being one player up, absolutely dominated Kyoto. More than 75% of the half was played in Kyoto's part of the field, and perhaps 50% of that in scoring position. No less than 5 times that half did Mito field a cross directly in front of the goal that came remarkably close to scoring. In one sequence, the ball sailed back, forth, and was generally controlled by Mito for nearly a full minute inside the keeper's box. The effort finally paid off in minute 89 asMuramatsu tapped in a perfect pitch shot over the fallen goalkeeper.In an EXTREMELY controversial call, the goal was overturned on anoffside violation. Still, the HollyHock made two more excellent triesin the 4 minutes of injury time and the compressed wall of Kyotoplayers struggled to hold onto its 2 point lead.
The game was not full of fair play, unfortunately. Mito played aggressively, perhaps too much so at times. Kyoto played the opposite tactic, and took quite a few exaggerated falls and other tecniques to stall and eat up time. It became so blatant that cards were issued and by the end of the game even the 100 or so hardcore Kyoto fans who made the trip began to voice their disapproval.
Mito's next match is a big one: away at Tosu. Tosu now has Anderson, Mito's striker star of last season, and if either team loses this match then that team will be on the bottom of the J2 standings. If Mito can continue to play as they did in the second half of the Kyoto match, there is no doubt that Mito will climb out of the bottom and stake a spike for footing as they climb up the mountain ahead in the standings. However, I have a feeling Anderson will not start against the team so familiar with his tactics, and that Tosu will play for a conservative win. I feel that the second half should especially prove incredibly exciting.