Mito outplayed and outclassed the top team in the division... for about 15 minutes, until the top team in the division showed its power and scored two goals in each half. Forward Arata scored in the third minute to great excitement, as both teams are notorious for wins after taking the first goal. Even when Hiroshima first took the lead the Mito fan sheld out hope, but the result became clear as soon as Hiroshima took the third.
The score was very lopsided, but this leg surprisingly had several such scores. Other matches on Saturday included:
Yamagata 4 - 1 Yokohama
Shonan 4 - 0 Kusatsu
Kofu 5 - 1 Kumamoto
Ehime's win brings that team to within a game of Mito, but the other teams nearby on the table remain unmoved.
My own job at the stadium was upgraded to assist the main management during the game. I stayed in the main ground level viewing room with the club president and match JFA match supervisor. The glass made viewing seem distant but the climate control was really appreciated. I helped to organize the press room and the backdrops for TV interviews, and it was definitely an interesting experience. It also marked the first time I was touched by two managers in one day, as Mito's Kiyama slapped me on the back before the match as I was in the observation room, and as I was setting up the interview backdrop after the game near the stretching Mito players, Hiroshima's Petrovich slapped my shoulder and said something in some language. I had my jersey on and I think he mistook me for a player.
A win against Kumamoto on Sunday would mean the club's 100th win and could put Mito into 10th place and back into the middle of the pack after a long absense.