25 May 2009

Mito 3 - 2 Tochigi

I understand rooting for the underdog but the referees yesterday were ridiculous... After Mito pulled off a nice 2 point cushion in the first half, the second half saw every major penalty go in Tochigi's favor. This included the PK that tied the game. It would take a well placed shot from Morimura in the closing moments of the game right in front of the visiting fans to send those who made the slightly longer drive happy.

Takasaki's two points have brought him close to Arata in the standings and put him on the J2 scoring leader board. Although taking less shots than Arata, he is more careful with them and his scoring since Arata's injury has matched Arata's average. Coach Kiyama's plan of having any player be able to take the role of any appropriate position. This will be important as yet ANOTHER starter, defender Hoshino, is injured. The squad is now fielding reserves and benching players who otherwise would likely not see action.

Despite such hardship, Mito rose back to 5th with this win and this is of course the highest position Mito has held after facing all opponents once... even when the league was 11 teams. Mito is in the top third of the league and a win against 3rd place Sendai on Saturday could place Mito right back in the promotion hunt... while a loss could push Mito down to the middle of the table.

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