16 August 2007

Mito 1 - 1 Fukuoka

A stressful, hard fought match ended with dissatisfaction on both sides. Mito fans were torn up as a 30 minute 1 point lead was taken in the last minute, and Fukuoka fans were unhappy with a tie game that, in their eyes, should have been won.

The game was a true defensive war with both teams going all out to go all back. Mito, shuffling people after another injury (Takaaki Suzuki, suffered during the Tokyo game on Sunday), started Kanazawa as a defender. He performed well in the role but it seems out of his place, as he would still dash forward to attack... only to be very exhausted near the end of the game when it was time to race back to defend.

Shingyoji came into the game in the second half and took the point for Mito. Coach Maeda likely put him in in hopes that his speed could take on the Fukuoka defenders, who had been shutting out midfielder Shiihara. It paid off. His shot was a rocket that was mostly stopped by a defender, yet carried enough momentum to dribble past the Fukuoka goalkeeper.

It was a great day for Sapporo, as Fukuoka's draw went along with losses suffered by Kyoto, Sendai, and Tokyo, the Hokkaido team is 10 points clear of 2nd place Kyoto.

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