In our sole Universiade match of the season, Vissel and Sanfrecce played out a drab nil all draw in front of a bigger than usual 13,000 people. Actually, I would say drab from a neutral/non-regular spectator's point of view but for the most part we would have to be satisfied with that result, given our respective league table positions and form. The majority of the crowd seemed more entertained by the half-time fireworks display and Movi prancing around in his Yukata. Sidenote: I will not be posting any photos of the lovely fireworks here because (as I said to someone last night) I do not take photos of fu#*ing fireworks. I will draw you a mental picture though; they looked like... fireworks.
A couple of positives from the game.
The defense looked decent. We gave them few opportunities to get through on goal and apart from 1 or 2 nervy moments, Kitamoto and Komoto were pretty solid. I don't see any reason why this pairing should be changed.
Our funny man Gakuto did OK too in only his 2nd start of the year. His determination to impress the home fans was quite obvious and he made one charge on goal beating three players that even Yoshito would have been proud of.
On the other hand, we were very flat in attack and I thought Park, Botti and Koga were all disappointing. All of them played too deep for the majority of the game and I saw our lone striker Mogi (oi,oi,oi!!) have to go back over the halfway line to get the ball for himself on several occasions. When we did break, there was no one up there. Hiroshima were playing only 3 back (which some would call taking the piss when you're away) but it could've been 2 considering the defensive game we were playing.
According to the manager, our failure to take advantage of set pieces was the main reason we didn't win this match. This may be true but I would draw two things from that. Kitamoto appears to be the target for most of the corners and set pieces, but with all due respect (for his defensive capabilities), if a guy that scores on average 1 goal a year is our "goal hope" in crucial moments, there's something wrong. Moreover, the fact that we have to rely on set pieces to score is, in itself, pretty sad.
Anyway, some of the other results at the bottom of the table went our way last night so we are still sitting uncomfortably, 3 points above the relegation zone.