It was another tough day at the stadium with few workers, and even with 5 goals I was only able to hear them from the gate area. I also couldn't yet catch a replay on TV. From the little I could see and talking with players afterward, Mito seems to have played a great game despite the loss.
Fukuoka was up by two goals to none at halftime, but Mito quickly retaliated in the first ten minutes of the second half. First was forward Arata, taking his fifth goal in six games and his tenth on the year, rising up to 6th in the league on goal count. Next was a goal from midfielder Suzuki to make things even.
Just when things seemed to come down to a war of attrition, Mito's defender Ozawa was charged with a second yellow card and sent off. With the overachieving midfielder newcomers Kikuoka and Chu-Ho Park both out for the game, this was a huge blow to the team's already reduced ability to cover the sides and push forward. After getting home, I found that several message boards were posted with messages on the unfairness of the card, and some claimed that the official must have been trying to skew the game in favor of Fukuoka. Only having heard the boos and not seeing it myself, I can't say. In any case, not too long later Fukuoka would go up by another goal.
Mito still fought back with several good chances but Fukuoka used the one man advantage to keep the ball defensively and slow up the remaining time.
Nighters are especially rough with fewer people sharing the work. I had to single-handedly clean the home locker room, and do more of the manual work with clearing the gate and taking out the goals. It was already Sunday by the time I pulled into my driveway.
I talked with the club president a bit throughout the day, and it seems he wants to try and do some more with English at the stadium. It will be interesting to see where this goes.