Our five game win streak game to an end in the league at the hands of former manager Akira Nishino as visitors Grampus won 1-0 in front of 15,383 fans. The referee was dire, Grampus’ foul tactics were annoying, our attacking was slow and our effort rewarded nothing.
One change was made with Fujiharu coming in for Yonekura, meaning Oh Jae-Suk move to right-back. It was an unnecessary change but Oh was the best equipped to take on Leandro Domingues and therefore understandable. Lins joined the bench in place of Kenya Okazaki – that was very disappointing.
We were the better team in the first half with Patric volleying off the bar within the first two minutes without Grampus threatening in the first 20 minutes although Nagai’s pace was threatening – Nishino forgot this and sold a back-pass short that Nagai got onto – fortunately he could only hit the post towards half time. Grampus strangled our attacking play and Usami was being kicked all over the place but the inapt referee was doing all he could to not give us justice.
Patric went close again as he hit the outside of the woodwork from an Endo cross but that was as close as either side got to breaking the deadlock as the half-time break arrived.
We started the second half with some intent but made no clear-cut chances whilst Iwashita was next to clear straight to a Nagoya player but Leandro Domingues fired well wide. The game seemed to be opening up a bit but Nagoya stayed tight in defence and Higashiguchi kept us in it with some good saves. Kurata and Usami with penalty appeals went away.
Yonekura and Futagawa came on for Abe and Kurata and added a bit of intensity that had been lost after our early spurt in the half. Endo was next to hit the bar after Danilson was finally pulled back for a free kick – Narazaki kept his team in the game and then his team went ahead. Fujiharu superbly blocked a cross but Endo was too lax on controlling the ball, allowing Leandro Domingues to pick it out the air and wonderfully volley home.
We had no answer. Usami hit the post after a super one-two and Lins disappointed after joining the fray. It was one of those days where we made few chances and they all hit the woodwork and we conceded to a wowzer of a goal. Heads up and onto the next one!
Man of the Match
Higashiguchi made some superb saves again and was stunning. I have said what I need to say about this guy before so no need for a repeat! Masaaki olé!
Higashiguchi – 9
Oh Jae-Suk – 6
Nishino – 5
Iwashita – 5
Fujiharu – 6
Abe – 5
Endo – 3
Konno – 4
Kurata – 4.5
Patric – 7
Usami – 6
Yonekura – 6 (Sub)
Futagawa – 5 (Sub)
Lins – 4 (Sub)
We dropped down to 7th but are in the area of the table that I think we will finish in. We just need to bounce back from this defeat with positive displays against Vortis in the cup and Kofu in the league. I am sure we will get back to winning ways on Wednesday night!