24 September 2008

Mito 2 - 0 Tokushima

Mito won for the first time since win #100 against Kumamoto, defeating Tokushima in Hitachi city 2-0 and climbing to 10th place on the table. Mito is now officially in the middle of the table for the first time in a long time and looking at the remaining matches, could very well finish in mid-table for the first time since 2003. Tokushima have now gone 17 matches without a win. Still some time for redemption before matching Sagan Tosu's 2003-2004 30 game winless streak.

Yesterday Mito played rested and relaxed against a stressed Tokushima. I couldn't see the game due to office work but the reports seem to read that Tokushima put forth a lot more fight than expected. Although a nice day, being a Tuesday and opposing a Shikoku team the crowd was quite small. Still, the 2000 in attendance seemed pleased to finally see a goal from the recently returned forward Nishino. He scored the second goal to seal things up, but the big buzz came from midfielder Kikuoka. He came in at the start of the second half to replace Biju, and in the first big push of the half fired a fine shot that put Mito ahead... before Tokushima had even trenched defensively in for the period.

Mito's next match is against Sendai and the two teams put forth the most exciting matches in J2. Although Mito has never beaten Sendai in 26 meetings, the team has come closest this year in the previous two meetings. The match reports from those two matches are stats worth seeing and appreciating before watching Sunday's game.

In other news, Hiroshima can rest up and focus the team on winning the Emperor's Cup. With two and a half months to spare, their win against Ehime yesterday assured their promotion to J1.

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