Monday, October 11

Vissel 1 - 2 Kashiwa

Vissel put in another well below par performance today to send us crashing out of the Emperor's cup for yet another year. Reysol came to Kobe with the confidence to beat us, and they did just that, even though they had to play about an hour (30mins of which were extra time) with only 10 men. The worst thing about this performance is that it was almost our strongest team on paper and we showed no creativity whatsoever. 99% of our attack was based on crosses into the box for our less than adequate strike partnership of Tokura and Yoshida to do nothing with. Things improved a little when Okubo came on for his first appearance in about 6 weeks. He did poach an easy goal from 4 yards out which, sadly, probably wouldn't have even been a chance without him there. Earlier on, Botti missed a tap in from 2 yards out that will surely go down as one of the most embarrassing misses of all time. I feel like I'm starting to rant but I can't help it. There's just nothing to take from this match. We learned that Popo cannot play in the middle for us. His control is sloppy and I suspect he's not 100% Brazilian. We learned that Tokura can win lots of headers but usually fouls his much shorter opponents in the process. We learned that Gakuto's position in the starting lineup is based entirely on his enthusiasm - not skill. We learned that Park is way past his peak. And we learned that the top team in J2 is a lot better than the 3rd from bottom team in J1.

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