Mito's first loss came hard-fought, as Kitakyushu played scrappier and took a goal from a deflected shot.
Manager Hashiratani took a gamble, bringing a starting squad to Okayama and having the team stay in western Japan on borrowed practice fields. While a better option than traveling for 8-10 hours 4 times in 3 days, Mito clearly had less gas in the tank for this one.
While disappointing, if the team knew that the season would start with 3 wins out of 4 it would have been a positive prognostication.
Mito must beat newly promoted Matsumoto at home on Saturday to keep from sinking into the mediocrity that has haunted the team almost every year after a promising start.