Shimizu S-Pulse 1-1 OITA TRINITA
IAI Stadium Nihondaira, Shizuoka

S-PULSE GOALS Dutra (88)

GK Okubo
DF Elsinho, Seok Ho, Futami, Matsubara
MF Renato, Takeuchi, Kaneko, Nishizawa
FW Nakamura, Douglas

Dutra on for Nakamura (61)
Kusukami on for Nishizawa (74)
Iida on for Matsubara (86)

Not for the faint-hearted! But S-Pulse and their fans showed their true hearts in adversity and sheer bad luck!

On a day when they secured less than half the possession they had no less than twenty-three shots at goals with 7 on target, more than half than their opponents.

The presence of Renato in midfield in a compact 5-4-1 formation did bring a lot of stability. But for all their efforts S-Pulse were left uncomprehending when Douglas was refused a seemingly fair goal which should have been at the same time converted as a penalty if the ball had not reached goal. Only to see Trinita get a goal in the last minute of the first half following a counter on all-out attack from Shimizu.

S-Pulse nonetheless attacked the second half with even more courage and tenacity but they had to wait until the 88th minute, when all seemed to be lost again, to wrestle an equalization form the jaws of defeat with a goal to remember.Until then, for all their determination and domination S-Pulse had showed little imagination making their opponents’ defense the easier to organize.

Kusukami form 25 meters away and left of goal curled a free kick across the box which was first feebly headed away. Douglas, instead to control the ball chose instead to back cycle it back into the crowd of players in front of goal where he found super sub Dutra beating the defense with a sweet heading inside the right post under a thunder of noise from relieved fans.

Actually S-Pulse created three more chances to take the lead, one of which was agonizingly fingered away by the Oita goalkeeper.

It might be only one point taken in the bargain but it makes an enormous difference as 5 teams are packed within 2 points and at least 4 points above 16th placed Shonan Belmare. All those 5 teams might not even need a single point in the last two games to stay safe from relegation.

Well, in any case S-Pulse will travel next Saturday to Osaka to face Cerezo Osaka, a club left with nothing to win or lose. But S-Pulse will definitely travel there to put all their troubles at rest! The fans who in such big numbers in spite of adversity  will certainly look forward to it!

Meiji Yasuda J1 League
Match day 33
Shimizu S-Pulse vs CEREZO Osaka
Sunday November 30th, 2pm
YANMAR Stadium NAGAI, Osaka

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