13 April 2008

Mito 2 - 2 Kumamoto

Beginning to sense a pattern here. At least it's better than the 0 - 2 pattern that stretched out last year.

It was actually bitterly cold in the stadium today, with the high winds and the drizzle. With the fairweather fans gone and only 15 Kumamoto faithful heading to north Kanto for the game, it felt very lonely in the stadium at less than 1/15 capacity.

Still, it was an incredibly exciting game, with Mito surprising from the start. The first push of the game resulted in Mito going up by one with a great one-two knocked in by Arata. Afterward, though, Mito limped behind with a relaxed attitude that, while technically sound, lacked the fire needed to attack well. Kumamoto made many mistakes that should have been better exploited, but also exploited a penalty area junk ball to tie it up. A well placed header sent the away team into the break with a one-point lead, but in the second half Mito forward Nishino popped in an almost identical looking goal to score the final goal of the game, bringing about the draw.

Unfortunately for those in the good seats (which was the section I worked today), a lot of action happened near the cheap seats. Several exciting incidents occured out of clear view and it those on my side gign't really know what had happened until after the fact. The game probably came off much better on TV.

After the game, I caught a couple of players coming out of the locker room, and also checked online for the coach reaction. Mito manager Kiyama expressed disappointment with the result while Kumamoto's head seemed pleased. That's a fair assessment... Mito pressed and impressed the entire game and outshot Kumamoto 24 - 7. From what I have seen so far this year, Kumamoto is perhaps the weakest team in the division (although an argument can be made for Kusatsu) and Mito should have broken the draw jinx today.

This is the third game in a row that Mito has drawn 2-2, and the third in a row that Mito initially led but gave up the lead. This time, at least, Mito showed resiliency in coming back from a deficit, which was a concern of many fans watching the first two games this year.


Vendo Thefastlane said...

Other qick notes:

It took 6 games for Mito to get the same number of wins and draws as in 12 games last year. Also, 6 games for 8 goals which took 12 games last year. (Take away the Verdy blowout in early May and things would until game 20, the big win over Ehime, for both!)

The 10 goals allowed remains the same compared to six games played last year.

richy said...

even though Mito only managed a draw I thought they played pretty good positive footy today. And yes, it was pretty good TV viewing! Very unlucky not to come out with a win. But as you say, playing a lot better than the start of last year and definitely have the potential to win a few big games once they get rid of their draw fetish!
Next weeks game vs Tokushima should be good. Tokushima are playing pretty good at the moment too.

As for Kumamoto being the worst team at this stage, I'd have to agree. Attack-wise they do pretty well with the oportunities that they have but defensively... I'm still very wary of them though. I'm waiting for them to pull a big result out of the bag sometime soon, just hopefully not against us!

Aaron said...

Don't Kumamoto have a really young keeper?

richy said...

Woah, yeah, Satoshi Yoshida. 18yrs old! Represented Japan in the Under-17 World Cup in Korea.

Anonymous said...

Is the mexican Óscar Uriel Martínez playing some matches with the club?

Vendo Thefastlane said...

That player is indeed practicing, or at least was until recently. He seemed to do pretty well.

He hasn't been signed yet. There is only one remaining foreign spot on the roster so one more signing would need to be for someone very effective.

Vendo Thefastlane said...

One more foreign player is practicing with the team, a member of South Korea's U-20 national team. It seems likely that either he or Martinez will sign at some point, but the only way both could is if current squad member Bruno (who has yet to debut) is let go.