Mito's negative streak continues as the team's 4th match at National stadium is the first not to result in a Mito victory over Tokyo Verdy. The atmosphere was dim and humid, but luckily no rain until the sudden deluge that made driving back to Ibaraki perilous.
Game play by both sides was very good, and it was testimony to the quality of both keepers that no goals were conceded. Also positive was the play of midfielder Kikuoka who came on as a second half sub, having been injured for two months. While heavily taped and not quite as fast as before his play led to the two best chances Mito had to score. Scoreless draws are seldom satisfying for all spectators but in this situation, with a good display and teams of perhaps equal quality, the time at the stadium was very enjoyable.
All the teams nearby on the table drew and so the standings remain unchanged in the middle. Mito is still in decent stabbing distance of 5th place, but anything higher will be difficult for any team. Kofu had a big win and is now in the hunt for a top 3 finish, while every other club needs at least 4 wins more than Kofu for even a chance. As the middle of the season approaches that order is getting taller.As far as Mito goes, despite the Arata-fueled excitement of the chance at being a top team, play continuing like yesterday should result in the optimistic prediction of a top 8 finish.