Osaka was the stronger team for most of the match in almost all areas but Mito's defense and goalkeeping shut out any chance for the team to score, and this round Mito was actually helped for once by the official, who loved flashing yellow cards everywhere except in the penalty areas. On two occasions Osaka forward Kagawa had a reason to argue very controversial tackles while approaching Mito's goal.
Osaka's defense was just as tenacious, and Mito scored by taking advantage of its only real mistake, as midfielder Kikuoka dashed impressively toward a passed ball and tapped it to an undefended Takasaki. One quick pass back and forth between them and Takasaki kicked it hard between the keeper's legs for the game's goal.
Beating Osaka is always a big deal but to do it in this situation, where Mito is chasing a promotion spot while Osaka is 1st place, is the best possible start for the last third of the season. Tonight is Shonan and Sendai which is similarly big, and both teams should be happy with Mito's win. They could repay Mito by drawing tonight, and keeping Mito not only 2 wins out of promotion territory... but first place. Watching last night's game, there is no reason to think the current winning streak can't continue. Mito has only lost one match in the last eleven, and that was 0-1 while playing one man down to Shonan. The last loss before that was narrowly to Osaka, and Mito doesn't have to worry about them any more this season. As Arata's case earlier this year showed, though, an injury to any starter could mean the difference between top 3 and mid level.