Mito snapped a four game losing streak yesterday by defeating Shonan away. The lone goal was scored by forward Arata, performing a great trap and shoot after a perfectly placed through pass from midfielder Muramatsu. Both players did the same to score Mito's first goal last round and Muramatsu especially has been performing very well lately.
Shonan's two Brazilians taking part in the game both were sent off with red cards in the second half, after the goal was scored. Lincoln drew a deserved direct red after running arm first into defender Owada and elbowing him in the neck and face. Adiel took a dubious yellow card after colliding with keeper Honma, but immediately screamed and flashed hand gestures in the face of the official, drawing an immediate second yellow for the sendoff.
The game was hotly fought, with Shonan taking three yellow cards and the two reds, and the vast majority of the game jockeying for position and possession. Only eleven shots were taken between the teams, with Mito taking seven and Shonan taking a record low four shots.
Up next Mito takes on the hottest tem in the division when Yamagata visits Mito this Saturday. A win for Mito would be very big and would provide a bit of breathing room for Hiroshima at the top of the rankings. Depending on the results Mito could move up a spot or two. It will also be the first edition of J's Goal's treasure hunt series, where the website will visit fans at the game and interview them on their favorite memorabilia.
Ironically, this is the first game televised in Japan to feature three head coaches for one team. Of course Mito's current coach Kiyama was shown, but coach-turned-commentator Maeda handled the live play-by-play for the TV audience. Shonan's current head Kanno held the position before Maeda joined the club in 2003.