Yesterday, I drove into north Saitama to see Mito play Kusatsu at "home".
Injuries have greatly taken their toll on Mito with some new players starting... and subbing. During the game, two mainstays sustained injuries as Nishino and Owada were replaced with Endo and Kanazawa. Especially unsettling was that defender Owada was replaced by the midfielder.
The game was played fairly sloppily on both sides and all chances were basically wasted as opposed to being stopped by the other side. Kusatsu hit the only decent shot of the game to go up near the end of the match.
This was a game neither team deserved to win, but Mito deserved to lose.
Mito is still only four points behind the team above, Ehime, but ten points behind Tokushima who stand at 11th, and twenty-nine points below leading Sapporo. Well over half the season is yet to be played but the mountain to climb is becoming insurmountable, especially with so many starters on the shelf with an injury.