IAI Stadium Nihondaira, Shizuoka
S-PULSE GOALS Douglas (68)
DF Elsinho, Seok Ho, Futami, Matsubara
MF Musaka, Takeuchi, Kaneko, Dutra
FW Kawai, Douglas
Tatsuta on for Dutra (78)
Nishizawa on for Kawai (84)
Tese on for Kaneko (90+2)
Deliverance! Shimizu S-Pulse endured their place next year in J 1 League with a fine win against fellow strugglers Sagan Tosu who also somehow managed to do the same in spite of their loss! But this win would not have been possible without the No 12 Jerseys, the Jerseys of the fans of S-Pulse!
They came early to the ground to fill the car park and the surrounding grass slopes in their hundreds to scream and the chants their encouragements when the orange bus carrying the players made its way to IAI Nihondaira Stadium entrance!
S-Pulse was again was beset with injuries and Musaka had to start in the place of injured keyman Renato. Actually it proved a blessing in hiding later during the game!
S-Pulse attacked in earnest right from the start under the strident encouragements of their passionate fans and Elsinho saw a fine long range shot saved by a fine Tosu goalkeeper (ironically, S-Pulse’ own goalkeeper, Okubo, was playing for Tosu until the summer mercato/transfer window!)!
Having been denied the lead in the first half S-Pulse continued attacking and Dutra came very close to score only to see his hot agonizingly rolling past the left post.
But deliverance came in the 68th minute when Seok Ho on the right side of his own half mad a short pass to Musaka on his left. The latter triggered a long pass into the empty right flank of Tosu where Douglas sprinted to grab the ball and directly cut into the box. Before any Tosu defender could react he shot a splendid curving high speed ball into the far left corner of the goal for probably the goal of J 1 League 2019 season.
He could have added another one after dribbling his way into the box only to see his shot parried by Tosu goalkeeper who raised his right hand in pure reflex.
For once S-Pulse defended their goal with the minimum scare and the whole stadium exploded in joy at the final whistle before starting an enormous celebration shared by all, players, staff and cheerleaders under the chants and music of their fans!
Shimizu S-Pulse will play in the J 1 League next year and the deserve it, as proved by being the only team to beating this year’s champions, Yokohama F Marinos both at home and away! The potential and more is there, but someone/some people will have to find the way enforce it for the joy of their deserving fans!
BUT the season is not finished! On Saturday 21st, Shimizu S-Pulse will travel to Kobe to fight their way into the Emperor’s Cup Final on New Year’s Day! The best and truest fans in the world, the Shimizu S-Pulse fans, may dream!
Emperor's Cup JFA 99th Japan Football Championship Semi Final
VISSEL KOBE vs SHIMIZU S-PULSE
Saturday December 21st, 2:05pm
Noevir Stadium Kobe