05 June 2009

Mito 1 - 1 Gifu

Mito drew against Gifu for the second time this year, albeit without the stress of giving up a huge lead. Forward Takasaki scored in the 6th minute while Gifu scored the tying goal 30 minutes later. Otherwise, the match resembled a battle of attrition as Mito's back end seemed to bunker down and focus on preventing goals and give the forwards a chance to counter-attack. Gifu remained strong until the end, though, and both teams held until the final whistle. Mito seemed technically better in regards to individual player performance, but Gifu held possession much more often and played with a lot more drive.

Takasaki's goal brings him up to 8 for the year, making him tied for 6th in the league. Arata (still sole holder of 5th, behind 4 who have scored 10) had 9 goals in 12 games before his injury and Takasaki has had 6 goals in the 6 games since that injury. While both players are capable and work well together, this shows that the coaching style and the plays used might be more involved than individual performances of the forwards.

Mito still manages to stay in the top 6 on a very slim margin. There is a good chance to be pushed out of the top third of the table with a loss against Kofu on Sunday. However, a win against Kofu might not only pull Mito back into 5th, but also pull Kofu down far enough so that Osaka, Shonan, and Sendai can pull away from the pack. With the same squads that played to a 1-1 draw in Kofu only recently though, another one seems just as likely as predicting either side to win.

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