Meiji Yasuda J1 League
Shimizu S-Pulse 1-3 FC Tokyo
Sunday February 23rd 1 pm
IAI Stadium Nihondaira, Shizuoka
S-PULSE GOALS Teerasil (47)
DF Okui, Valdo, Tatsuta, Ishige
MF Nakamura, Nishimura, Goto
FW Kaneko, Teerasil, Nishizawa
Musaka on for Nishimura (84)
Dutra on for Nishizawa (89)
Tese on for Goto (90+1)
Shimizu S-Pulse, in spite of missing Elsinho, Takeuchi and Renato to injuries, Okazaki because of being on loan from FC Tokyo and Carlinhos not fit yet, did well enough with a makeshift team.
The back line held better than usual and stole away plenty of balls for their midfield to work on. The same midfield performed beyond expectations providing plenty of ammunition to their forwards, especially Nakamura who excelled in long passes from side to side of the pitch. The play was very entertaining but the wings lacked speed and imagination and became more and more predictable as the game went on.
Shimizu S-Pulse generally dominated the first half and had the more chances but could not bring concrete about results for all their efforts.
The second half started immediately with a fine goal by S-Pulse, but it was created by a superb tackle by central back Tatsuta before newcomer Teerasil was sent through into an empty space to allow him to slot in an easy enough goal. But by the 55th minute Tokyo threw in fresh and strong substitutes whereas S-Pulse’s depleted bench could not do the same. In the 77th minute Tokyo were rewarded with a contentious penalty, the more galling for it that the available VAR was not consulted.
Nevertheless S-Pulse went back on the attack instead of trying to preserve a draw. But their very next attack was blocked and the counter deadly. The game had then been lost, tired and shocked as S-Pulse were. The second penalty and third goal was only an anecdote.
FC Tokyo’s game is not attractive to watch but is efficient. Shimizu S-Pulse was a pleasure indeed to watch, a far cry from last year’s defensive mindset, but they still lacked the extra speed and imagination up front. This could be remedied soon enough. In fact the composition of the team could change rapidly!
The next game is a Levain match in Nagoya on Wednesday and this could be well used to hone the team skills before resuming the J1 League on Sunday in Oita!
In any case there is plenty of hope this year!
Levain Cup Group A Match 2
Shimizu S-Pulse vs Nagoya Grampus
Wednesday February 26th 7 pm
Paloma Mizuho Stadium, Nagoya