26 April 2007

Mito 0 - 2 Shonan (adjusted)

An incredibly difficult game to watch for Mito fans, emotionally as well as literally.

It seemed early on that Mito would have gone up 2 - 0 were it not for the whistle holders. In a scramble in front of the goal, the ball was shot into the Shonan net. One referee indicated a goal, the announcer screamed it, the scoreboard flashed it, and the fans were full of joy for Mito taking the lead for the first time this season. The main referee then overruled the goal claiming the ball had gone slightly out of bounds before the shot. The second non-goal was a rocket shot hitting the Shonan keeper's hands, hitting the cross bar, falling to the ground and bouncing into the goal, with the keeper reaching in and snatching it out. The referees were not in perfect position, and could do nothing but make the judgment call that no goal be awarded.

The fine play of Mito, outclassing Shonan on both sides of the field, does not make up for the lack of scoring that ultimately decides games and seasons. Shonan had two good chances and took both of them for points while the many chances Mito created could not be converted.

Literally the game was hard to see because in the second half, a thick fog had developed in the stadium. Conditions on the field were slightly compromised, but conditions for the fans were severely impaired. It was a challenge just to see what was going on.

The saddest element of the game was the attendance. Those in the stadium were strong fans on both sides and made the field ring with noise, but looking around felt very lonely. The night weekday game, the rain, and a traditionally low attendance opponent resulted in an admission figure of 958 people. I believe it is the first time a J. League match had less than a thousand fans in attendance.

3 comments:

Aaron said...

958! That's the lowest attendance I've ever heard of in the J League.

Vendo Thefastlane said...

I was shocked when it was announced on the board. The number of people seemed respectable enough, and very vocal. It definitely SEEMED bigger than other the other small crowds this year... I hope when people hear about it a wake up call is sounded so people feel compelled to show their support no matter the day and weather...

Vendo Thefastlane said...

I found that there have been many instances of Mito games with less than 1000 fans, and perhaps things were this low for several clubs as J2 started. In 2000, Mito had its lowest home attendance in a game against Tosu with 721 people attending. Games against Omiya in 200 and 2001 drew 753 and 754 fans, respectively.

Public perception of a club's skill seems to play a big part on attendance, obviously... Last year saw Mito's highest attendance at 9,482 fans to see Mito lose a close game to Kashiwa 0 - 1. This home game followed the VERY close loss to Tokyo that inspired many fans. One can only wonder what the attendance might have been if Mito's 4 - 1 win over Verdy had occured at Kasamatsu as opposed to being away...