Saturday, September 18

Hiroshima 1 - 1 Vissel

Vissel grabbed a nice point away today at Hiroshima in our first match with Wada at the helm. Hiroshima had the bulk of opportunities to score with about 3 times as many shots on goal as us, but we defended well. In the end, the draw was a fair result and it was a relief to see the team play much better than the horrible football we've seen of late.

Popo put us in front in first half extra time (something we usually let others do to us) with a free kick that somehow slid under the Hiroshima wall, and we were able to hang onto that lead until the 76th minute when they equalized through Lee. Following our 7-yellow card performance last week at Kyoto, it was also nice to see us reduce that to only 2 today. Unfortunately, they both went to Kobayashi and we had to ride out the final 5 minutes with 10 men. Surprisingly, it was us that almost snatched the victory in the dying minutes when Ogawa scrambled to put away a loose ball in front of the goal only to have it blocked by a sliding Stoyanov.

Anyway, I'll take the point as a sign of good things to come under Wada. Our relegation rivals FC Tokyo also did us favor by losing to Iwata which pushes us just above the bottom three, albeit by just a point. Moreover, Omiya are losing 3-0 to Kashima as I write this, and if Sendai lose to Yamagata tomorrow, it will have been a pretty good weekend for us and our survival aspirations.

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