Meiji Yasuda J1 League
Shimizu S-Pulse 1-1 Nagoya Grampus
Sunday August 29th 6 pm
Toyota Stadium, Aichi
S-PULSE GOALS Thiago Santana(74)
GK Shuichi Gonda
DF Ryo Okui, Valdo, Akira Ibayashi, Eiichi Katayama
MF Ronaldo, Daiki Matsuoka, Benjamin Kololli, Yuito Suzuki
FW Thiago Santana, Noriaki Fujimoto
Yuta Taki on for Yuito Suzuki(58)
Kenta Nishizawa on for Benjamin Kololli(66)
Yugo Tatsuta on for Valdo(86)
Ryo Takeuchi on for Ronaldo(88)
What a turnaround! A team that last week sank all ship and souls at home against a middle-table opponent managed to grab a draw away from a team that is placed 4th in the League!
The starting members were almost the same with only Fujimoto staring in place of Nishizawa. Incidentally, the team fielded no less than five middle of the season signings: Ibayashi, Matsuoka, Kololli, Ronaldo (Hanaudo) and Fujimoto! It also means that competition to appear on the bench is even more severe, which could explain the total change of mental approach. But such hot and cold showers are not very good for the fans’ hearts!
Truth be told, Grampus had most of the possession and chances with 12 attempts at goal to 7, 5 corner kicks to 2 and 16 fouls against 6. Goal keeper Gonda was put to work from the very first minute. He had to show again in the 26th and 40th minute why he is the National Team Goal keeper.
S-Pulse had to wait until the 42nd minute for their first real chance when Matsuoka sent Katayama through whose perfect cross from the left was met by Fujimoto’s head which unfortunately flew directly to the opposite goal keeper. In the 45th minute Gonda had to show again his superior skills against a dangerous middle shoot.
The second half was more balanced but Gonda once again had to save his camp in the 48th minute against a point-blank shot. In the 55th minute Santana was refused a goal for off side.
Grampus finally scored in the 57th minute on a quick counter and a very fine middle shoot that Gonda could do little against. But this time S-Pulse showed great mental strength by courageously going onto the attack while soaking counter attacks all the time.
But in the 74th minute Fujimoto showed great skills to first control a difficult ball over the head of a defender before sending a great cross to Santana who coolly volleyed giving no chance to the opposite goal keeper. Fujimoto himself could have scored in the 79th minute. S-Pulse almost had a chance to grab a win out of nothing in the last minutes.
Now, how can a team can go from night to day in a single game? Is it at last the beginning of the long-awaited rebirth? We shall know well enough in two-week time when S-Pulse plays at Tosu in another very important game!
Meiji Yasuda J1 League
Shimizu S-Pulse vs Sagan Tosu
Saturday September 11th 7:pm
Ekimae Real Estate Stadium, Tosu