02 August 2008

Mito 1 - 0 Gifu

Mito played very hard during yesterday night's game and took a well earned win. It might be seen as a big upset, considering that Mito had 5 starters out of this game due to injury and one more due to suspension. Starting members able to appear were goalkeeper Honma, defender Nakamura, midfielders Park and Akahoshi,and forward Arata. Midfielders Muramatsu and Suzuki also started having seen playtime in recent games. Defender Hoshino made his professional debut. Due to the reduced number of available players, Mito was forced to play a 4 - 4 - 1 - 1 formation for the first time.

Despite the hastily assembled squad, the team worked together well and kept possession most of the game, pressing hard to get the ball at other times. To Gifu's credit, Mito had some good crosses that effective zone defense shut down. Despite Gifu's mistakes in the match, during clutch situations they were able to keep the scoreline close.

Mito's goal was taken by forward Arata, which is his 11th for the year and bringing him to 4th place in the league. It came from a Kanazawa cross and Arata jumped between two Gifu defenders to pop it in.

Mito now has more wins this season than anyone in the bottom half of the standings, and more wins than the entire (longer) season last year with only three more points to match last year's less than stellar results. The team pulled ahead of Yokohama FC to 11th place albeit with all other matches to be played tomorrow.


Furtho said...

This is great news, Vendo. How would you compare Mito's team and performances this year with last?

Vendo Thefastlane said...

Very simply put, the team is so much younger, from the management down to the players, and the desire to perform and win just seems so much higher. The practice sessions are impressive, as well, as there are just more than most teams and are genuinely strenuous. The combination brings what may be the most well-conditioned squad in the country. Of course, there is also forward Arata, whose ability to get goals single-handedly secured several of Mito's wins and draws.

Simply put, if this team was the one in place last year, Mito may very well have ended up in the upper half of the standings. It's to the entire division's credit that many other teams have improved in the same way and is much more competitive.

richy said...

It's great to see a team like Mito that seems to have put a lot of effort into youth development and at the same time giving these players chances to shine on the field.
Sure it took a little time for the engine to get going, but now that it has, they will start to seriously challenge teams ladden with experienced players who peter out a bit as the season goes on.
Plus Arata is THE MAN!