The gulf between the top six teams and the bottom six couldn't have been better highlighted than it was yesterday. Vissel were flogged, 4-0 losers to Kawasaki Frontale. Actually the scoreline better reflects the value of key forwards who know how to score goals than the game itself. Except for gifting them an early goal after a minute and a half, memo to defenders the game starts from the kick off, we more than held our own and put together some good passages, but by going in with the same line up as last week our forwards weren't up to it against a tough defence. Watching Yoshida being brushed off the ball in the box was painful, oh for the return of Okubo.
Ganaha replaced Yoshida for the second half and got some early touches, one especially forcing a good save but for the last 20 or so minutes was virtually invisible. The 49th minute was the turning point, Mogi charged into the box with the ball at his feet and only the goal keeper to beat from 7 meters out and didn't even force the keeper to save, he shot wide. 5 minutes later we're 2-0 down.
The ref was a great help to them for their 3rd goal, letting go a blatant foul on Botti, I think it was, which let play go on and saw them score.
Not using it as an excuse but the ref didn't help our cause much, he was shite and missed some red hot fouls on our guys. However, the bottom line is we were outclassed when it mattered and are now left with a very worrying 15 goal difference. We have a tough run home and if yesterday's game is indicative of what's to come fans are in for some very nerve racking times. We have a chance to redeem next week in the Emperor's Cup, although it won't be easy against the front running J2 leaders Reysol, I just hope we take the game seriously and select the best side available.
The most immediate concern is how long can Botti continue to carry the work load on his own.