Wow. Talk about a game we needed to win! Based on current form and league position, one of these teams will be playing in J2 next season so this was the the perfect time to ride our luck and snatch 3 points away. It was our first league victory in over 2 months, the last being against Reysol!
So did Vissel deserve the win? Probably. Both teams had their chances but an obvious lack of class, on both sides, prevented a high scoring match. Without taking too much away from our lads, neither team was very good and the Vissel scarf around my neck was the only reason I wasn't begging the barman to change the channel. Our goal came midway through the second half when an unmarked Komoto headed home a Kusunose corner kick. Okubo took 2 defenders with him to create a bit of space (definitely unintentional) and Nam Il did well to obstruct the keeper's view.
Wada made some surprising changes for this match which in hindsight appear to have worked but in reality did not.
Matsuoka at left back? No. He was caught out a couple of times and relied on both Miyamoto and Komoto a lot for assistance. Had we been playing a team like S-Pulse or Kawasaki, it would have been a very embarrassing evening for him.
Gakuto at right back? No. To be fair, he did OK, but he simply isn't as good as Ishibitsu.
Mogi as the lone striker? Well, he didn't actually play that role. He was obviously given permission to "roam" and popped up in every part of the field throughout the match. He didn't seem as effective as usual and I would play him on the right next time. Oh, look out for the new "call" we have for him. It's very aussie!
Okubo on the right? On his day he's good anywhere. But I still think he's most dangerous in the center.
I admire the manager for having the guts to make changes but that lineup would have been demolished by most teams in J1. We play in form Sanfrecce in 2 weeks and I hope Wada realizes that.