Wednesday, May 6

Vissel 3 - 1 Yamagata

Yet again, we are on the rollercoaster ride that is Vissel Kobe's season. In the preview that I wrote for JapaneseSoccer.net in February, I mentioned that our inconsistency last year saw us beat most of the top half of the table and lose to the bottom half, and it appears 2009 will go the same way. I guess you could say we are consistently inconsistent, if that makes any sense!

Yesterday, I celebrated Children's Day like any other football-mad father would. I took my kid to her grandparents' house, went to the game, watched my team play pretty decent football and then got pissed! Now, I won't go overboard here and say that we were brilliant because we were not. Yamagata were very average. Admittedly, they were missing a couple of key players but they played like they were missing 11. After 30 minutes of terrible football from both teams, Caio made a clever change in bringing on Yoshida for Matsuoka. I couldn't understand it at first but now it makes total sense. Vissel started with 4 back (3 in the last couple of games) and Yamagata were not causing us any problems whatsoever. So he brings on an extra FW in Yoshida to put extra pressure on their already shaky defense, and Nam-Il moves back and across into his natural position of defensive MF. Minutes later... we score our first goal courtesy of Mogi.

And what a season Mr. Mogi is having! Not only is he scoring lots of goals, they are GREAT goals. I remember when he first came to Kobe he was our regular right back and I believe he is still a "DF" in the squad list. He injured his achillies in pre-season last year and played no league games. Now he is our first choice striker! Weird.
After Mogi's goal we dominated the game. Sentimental crowd favorite Park came on 15 minutes into the 2nd half and scored a wonderful goal almost immediately which (IMO unfairly) earned him Man of the Match. See the supporters' reaction in the video below. Yoshida finished the game off 10 minutes from full time with his second of the season just before they grabbed a consolation goal.

For those of you who care, Marcel put in another lackluster performance.

Vissel's 2nd half performance was championship stuff. But we know all too well that they will disappoint us again by losing to a JEF United or a Kashiwa. I wonder what Vissel Kobe we will see this Sunday against Grampus...

video

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