Well, I'll be honest. I was not expecting that!
But, I'll take it.
These weeknight games have a real different vibe to them. Obviously, the crowd is considerably smaller than our "massive" weekend attendances, but it's quite cool to see the salarymen rock up 10 minutes before KO in their suits and ties to take out their day-to-day frustrations by screaming abuse at our shitty defense or lackluster attack. But on this occassion, however, we were actually pretty good.
Our lineup was not that different from recent weeks. Mogi came back into the attack for Okubo who is on national duty, and Kobayashi slipped into defense for Mogi. Simple.
The midfield seemed to work for some reason - Botti, Popo, Edmilson and Matsuoka (yes... one of these kids is doin' his own thing, come on can you guess which one)!
With all due respect to Shimizu who have had an unbelievable season so far, they were absolutely crap. Their (first choice) keeper couldn't hang on to the ball, the defense made a string of uncharacteristic errors and they rarely troubled us in attack. Admittedly, their star striker Okazaki was absent, but they fielded a reasonably strong team; one you would expect to get the job done. Meanwhile, we just went from strength to strength. Once Tokura snatched our first in the 15th minute, we started playing with the confidence of, well, a better team. Edmilson grabbed his first goal in a Vissel shirt less than 10 minutes later with a header from 1 meter out, and Vamos Popo finished them off 5 minutes after the break.
I don't really know what else to say. That was not the Shimizu S-Pulse we've seen in 2010. I've seen them play a couple of matches this year and, with all due respect to my team, they are way better than us. We caught them on an off night and took advantage of it. I vaguely recall proclaiming this was the beginning to our road to victory in the cup, and a possible championship, but now that I'm sober I'll just say we need to take this as a reminder that we can play football - sometimes. We need to put in better performances against the weaker teams to consolidate our position in the lower half of the table - just above the relegation zone!
And I need to stop forgetting stuff. I did kind of "pack" before I left but somehow failed to remember my camera and season pass. In fact, the only thing of importance I did have was the ice.
No bullshit... ice is pretty important.