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【MATCH REPORT】 Shimizu S-Pulse 1-0 Fagiano Okayama

J2 League
Game 12
Shimizu S-Pulse 1-0 Fagiano Okayama
Sunday April 28th, 1:00 pm
City Light Stadium (Okayama)
S-PULSE GOALS Kitagawa (35)

YELLOW CARDS
RED CARDS
PENALTY KICK
ATTENDANCE 14192

LINE UP
GK Gonda
DF Yamahara, Sumiyoshi, Takahashi, Yoshida
MF Yajima, Nakamura, Miyamoto, Braga
FW Carlinhos, Kitagawa

SUBSTITUTIONS
Hara on for Yajima (59)
Nishihara on for Carlinhos (69)
Matsuzaki on for Braga (69)
Nishizawa on for Miyamoto (90 +2)
Tanque on for Kitagawa (90 +2)

REPORT
Very important win, even if we are still in the first third of the season!
Okayama is a direct rival for promotion along with arguably Nagasaki, Yokohama and Kofu. Had we lost that game we would have found ourselves down to the third spot. Now on the contrary we have built a cushion of 6 points at the top above Okayama in third place.
AS the score indicates it was not an easy match, the more for it that Okayama know us well with so many players from S-Pulse having played on loan or even been transferred to them. Moreover, we were still missing game-maker Inui through injury. Truth be told we should have killed the game in the first half but we did not and had to defend with nails and teeth in the second half.
After a slow start a golden chance was missed by S-Pulse when Okayama after failing to clear consecutive attacks conceded a penalty in a melee inside the box as Braga was tripped meters away from the goal mouth. Unfortunately, the Okayama keeper perfectly read Carlinhos’ shot low on his left and S-Pulse were denied a justified award for their attacks.
But in the 34th minute Nakamura after a tussle in mid pitch managed to send a long pass to Kitagawa inside the box. The latter then played a sweet one-two combination with Carlinhos who sent the prefect pass on his left back to Kitagawa running at full speed. The new S-Pulse’s captain made no mistake and cooly beat the opposite keeper with his right foot inside the far post beating four retreating defenders in the process.
In the 42nd minute Yajima intercepted a weak Okayama keeper’s clearance to run along the left flank before sending a looping cross to Braga whose header was somehow cleared away by a defender’s chest into a corner kick.
But we had to defend stolidly in the second half starting with the 48th minute when Okayama was unable to conclude meters away from the goalmouth denied by kneeling Gonda and defenders throwing their bodies.
In the 55th minute we again had to deal with a very dangerous corner kick we failed to clear but were reprieved by an offside on the rebound.
In the 61st minute poor control could have cost us a lot but Okayama’s final shot a couple meters inside the box flew directly into Gonda’s arms.
The game then finished into half-chances half taken especially in the dying seconds when Nishihara who had run past the last defender on the left flank right into the box only meters away from the goal only to see his shot beating everybody, keeper and S-Pulse lurking forwards but not going into promised land.
Now we have to improve our record next Friday at home against low-ranked Tochigi in the middle of Goden Week!
Expect many fans to attend!

NEXT GAME
J2 League
Game 13
Shimizu S-Pulse vs Tochigi FC
Friday May 3rd, 2:00 pm
IAI Nihondaira Stadium (Shizuoka)

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