22 July 2007

Mito 1 - 2 Kyoto

Mito played an incredibly exciting match against Kyoto, but a few mistakes nulled the chances to lead Mito had created.

Mito had two particular players of note. First is Shohei Ogura, who provided the first goal of the game with a virtual own goal. In an attempt to clear, he fired the ball into the leg of Paulinho. which repelled as if it had struck a wall, straight into the goal. It was the most unbelievable goal I'd seen, at least until the one he would score later in the match. Down by two goals, Ogura raced toward the ball along with a defender and lunged forward as if floating for several seconds, and just barely tapped the ball with a single toe. It bounced perfectly to the side of the keeper into an empty space in front of the goal and rolled gently into the net. Perhaps it was from my angle, but it was the most beautiful goal I'd ever seen. Ogura compensated for his previous error, but it wasn't enough to pull off a draw despite several attempts as time ran out.

One likely goal robbed from Mito involved the other player to watch, Jun Muramatsu. He is easily the most improved player of the year and has shown amazing skill and reliability in the middle. This game was no exception and he seemed ready to make his mark with a goal in the penalty area when he was absolutely demolished by a charging defender. It seemed an obvious yellow card, yet alone a free kick, but the official waved for play to continue amongst the loudest chorus of boos possible by the small group of hardcore fans in the cheering section. Regardless, Muramatsu remained motionless until he was stretchered off the field, and it was clear that his violent fall was not orchestrated. He passed directly under me on the way to the stadium's clinic, clutching an ice pack to his left knee. His face didn't reflect pain or anguish so much as extreme disappointment and disbelief, as if he felt himself as the personification of the burden of a team being further crippled by injury in an attempt to show amazing improvement and struggle gone unappreciated.

Kuramoto, Yoshimoto, Owada, Nishino, and now Muramatsu. It's as if being the breakout player for Mito is a curse to break your body.

No comments: