Saturday, March 20

Shimizu 1 - 0 Vissel

Vissel would have grabbed a valuable away point against one of the in-form teams in the league today had it not been for a defensive lapse in concentration only 10 minutes from the whistle. Substitute defender Australian Eddy Bosnar powered in a low free kick from about 35 yards out that deflected off the broken Vissel wall and somehow found the back of the net to inflict our second defeat of the new campaign. (see video)

It wasn't all doom and gloom, though. Okubo made his first start of the season playing the whole match without aggravating the knee, although he did look frustrated at times when those around him couldn't find his wavelength. Our defense was solid for most of the game, too. Both Kitamoto and Komoto did will to give Johnsen little room to move, hence limiting the impact he usually has. We were moving the ball around quite well in the middle and several positive attacking moves began with Edmilson and Matsuoka. Failure to capitalize on these opportunities will be put down to a lack of class in the final third, and Mogi was the guilty party on several occasions.

I'm not ready to dump Mogi just yet, though. He still gives us another option with his pace and we know he can score goals when he's on his game. Unfortunately, right now he's not, which is why I would start Yoshida up front instead.

Two out of the three goals we have conceded this year have been from set pieces so it's pretty obvious what we need to work on before the next game. The home match next Saturday is against Yokohama Marinos, the team that just annihilated Frontale 4-0! No doubt all the pseudo football fans will be out in force to see Shunsuke, but I will be there to see us grab our 2nd win of the season to solidify our status as a mid-table force in the J.League!!!

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