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【MATCH REPORT】 Shimizu S-Pulse 2-1 Mito Hollyhock

J2 League
Game 17
Shimizu S-Pulse 2-1 Mito Hollyhock
Saturday May 26th, 2:00 pm
IAI Nihondaira Stadium (Shizuoka)

S-PULSE GOALS Yajima (24), Shirasaki (53)

YELLOW CARDS Shirasaki (50), Matsuzaki (90)
RED CARDS

PENALTY KICK
ATTENDANCE 17584
LINE UP
GK Gonda
DF Hara, Takahashi, Takagi, Yamahara
MF Braga, Miyamoto, Shirasaki, Yajima
FW Carlinhos, Kitagawa

SUBSTITUTIONS
Inui on for Carlinhos (46)
Matsuzaki on for Yajima (61)
Sumiyoshi On for Braga (75)
Tanque on for Kitazawa (76)
Yoshida on for Takagi (87)

REPORT
Sweet revenge in front of a record home game audience!
Mito Hollyhock is the team that broke our hearts and dreams in the last minutes of the last game of last season, at home to boot, to prevent our direct promotion to where we really belong and consequently led to one more year in purgatory!
Truth be told, they almost managed to repeat it and even assumed more possession and shots at goal than us, and we certainly needed a little luck to add to our efforts to put that jinx to rest!
Now we have preserved an all-important healthy margin with our direct rivals which could well be increased in the next games!
We started well and in the 16th minute Yamahara and Hara exchanged crosses that almost ended with Carlinhos scoring but for a last leg from a Mito defender meters from promised land.
But in the 25th minute Yajima curled a beautiful free kick from outside the box that first hit the bar only to bounce from the back of the goalkeeper for a splendid if somewhat lucky score.
But 2 minutes later it was the turn of Mito to benefit from some luck when S-Pulse weakly cleared a corner kick only for the ball to reach a Mito player outside the box who just volleyed without much thinking. The ball managed to evade four defenders to beat Gonda who had had a completely blocked action of the view.
In the 39th minute Hara and Yamahara were again in the action with crosses but Carlinhos could only head just past the nearest post in what could have become the goal of the day.
But Mito could not be kept away and in the 43nd minute a long-range attempt was barely parried by Gonda diving at full stretch to palm away the ball.
But in the 53rd minute S-Pulse outfoxed their rivals of the day when the latter failed to clear a dangerous attack before the ball reached Hara who served the perfect cross for an almost unmarked Shirasaki to perform a blistering header that gave no chance to the opposite excellent goalkeeper.
But Mito certainly did not give up and forced Gonda into another save from close enough range which could have rebounded anywhere after a flat-footed defense allowed their opponents far too much freedom.
In the 84th minute more careless defense could have badly ended but the last shot went barely wide off the far post.
S-Pulse somehow survived tense last minutes against an opponent who should be ranked far higher than their present place in the middle of the League.
Next is a match away In Yamaguchi Prefecture on Sunday against a team playing for a spot in at least the paly-offs to promotion which has been quite successful recently. Beware!

NEXT GAME
J2 League
Game 18
Shimizu S-Pulse vs Mito Renofa Yamaguchi
Sunday June 2nd, 2:00 pm
Ishin E-Venue Stadium (Yamaguchi)

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