Sunday, March 22

Omiya 1 - 1 Vissel

Vissel earned a point away at Omiya yesterday in a fairly evenly-matched game. Both teams had several chances that were not taken due to the clear lack of quality up front (on both sides) and Kobe will regret not being able to defend the 0-1 lead they had for most of the second half. For us, no one really stood out, good or bad, although Yoshida's goal was nicely put away (see video below).

It was a game of 2 halves for Vissel. In the first half, we pushed forward through the center with Botti controlling play as usual and there were some promising signs in terms of the pass work between Botti, Tanaka and Kim. I did feel, though, that we were a little too keen to get rid of the ball. Suzuki came on for Botti in the second half and this completely changed our attacking formation giving us more width, and he initiated the move that led to the Yoshida goal. I'm not sure if the Botti replacement was tactical or injury-related, but it paid off.

Caio made a few bad decisions, one of which probably cost us the game.
Kim Nam-Il started on the left and appeared lost at times. I assume the manager thinks that Matsuoka can only play in the center and therefore shifted him out.
Note to Caio: If you are going to replace Kim Nam-Il in the defensive midfield role, make sure it's someone as good, or better. We currently have no such player.
And, the manager made 2 substitutions during the second half (when we were 1-0 up), both forwards. Everyone loves to watch attacking football but this game should've been closed down. After we scored, Omiya brought on 2 forwards, one being their goal scorer. So what do we do? The same! We bring on 2 forwards, one of whom is still not fit!! It was good to see Ganaha make his first appearance, but both he and the manager admitted after the match that he was still lacking match fitness. So why the f#%* was he brought on??
Note to Caio: This is not Brazil. When you are defending a one goal lead, AWAY, and the opposition has 3 strikers on the pitch, you DO NOT bring on a half-fit forward. You tighten up the midfield at the back.

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