23 August 2008

Mito 2 - 2 Ehime

One of the most exciting games I've seen on TV just ended, with Mito's away match in Ehime ending in a very unlikely yet more than deserved draw. Just as with the recent game against Osaka, Mito's first half was uninspired yet the second half was great.

The first half had Mito's players slow and too interested in keeping to set plans, and a fired up Ehime trying to break a losing streak ran circles around them. Despite good efforts by goalkeeper Honma, Ehime would end up starting the second half two up.

The second half belonged to Mito, and especially to two players: Akahoshi and Honma. Akahoshi has been on a tear lately and today he took two great goals. The first was a direct shot from a free kick that curled into the left side of the goal. The second, with about 15 minutes left, was taken a bit further out yet likewise curled into the top left corner. The Ehime keeper deflected a few other seemingly unstoppable shots but not nearly as many as Mito's Honma.

During the game, Ehime fired 17 shots on goal, and an unusually large percentage were on target. Honma had no less than 8 spectacular saves that would end up saving the game, but the best were set for last. With Ehime star forward Tanaka seemingly about to take the winning goal in the very last drive of injury time, Mito defender Owada gambled with a tackle and stopped him. In the process, he took a second yellow card, was sent off, and gave the opposing team a penalty kick for the last play of the game. Tanaka fired a hard shot but Honma read it well and jumped to block it. Tanaka grabbed the rebound and sent another hard shot into the opposite corner, but Honma had rebounded and launched himself toward the shot, blocking that one as well. A few seconds later the game would end with the draw intact.

1 comment:

richy said...

Nice stuff! Im finding it amazing that Gifu is playing pretty bad, whereas Mito are playing some decent football (at least halves of it!), yet Mito hasn't overtaken Gifu yet on the table.
So I should thank you guys for that!
But it's probably only a matter of time..
Anyway, will be interesting to see how they fare against Hiroshima next week. We play them the week after. I've lost all confidence in Gifu being able to beat them after we got murdered by four down there two months ago... but Mito on the other hand... time for shock maybe??