Mito took advantage of a Tokyo Verdy team without spirit, and on Thursday it only took 15 minutes for them to find the groove they needed. And as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, they flew through that groove and took a few shots to destroy an empire's "invincible weapon"... Assuming excuses aren't made and proper responsibilities are taken, the Ramos era in Tokyo is over.
It started off as Mito's occasional tragic stumble happened a mere 9 minutes in. Goalkeeper Honma easily reached up and deflected a shot... right into the goal. This own goal would be the only major mistake Mito would make in the most important match in recent memory.
Over the next 75 minutes, Mito would score 5 times with 4 players. First came Owada and then Kanazawa in the first half, and then the forwards took their shots with Nishino and Iwadate in the second. Nishino took an additional goal via PK after being fouled with 10 minutes to go. In a move not undertaken anytime at least in the past two seasons, coach Maeda made subsititutions near the end of the game to allow bench players to get time for experience.
The joy felt by the fans was and continues to be huge. The crowd which has been so pessimistic no is certain of continued Mito victories and is filled with renewed support. I highly doubt there will be another sub-1000 fan home game. There is amazing confidence among the staff, fans, and players that tomorrow will bring an end to the long drought plaguing the team at home, and the first win since September 9. That last win was against Tokushima, the opponent for tomorrow.
This is the only time Mito has ever scored five goals in a J. League match. It is the largest win in club history aside from a 9 - 0 win over Ain Foods of Osaka in the Emperor's Cup two years ago.