Sorry about the last couple match reports being delayed; I've been really busy with the end of summer and getting ready to start work at my new job. Additionally, due to a sizable photography gig on the 6th, I will not be able to attend the home leg of the FCT/Shimizu Nabisco Cup Semifinal.
Fortunately, due to a good day at the pachinko parlor, I've got more than enough funds to attend tomorrow's away leg. So if you're on Twitter, follow @aishiterutokyo for the latest from Outsourcing Stadium. I'll probably spend some time before the game chilling with Barry over at S-Pulse UK Ultras, and that should be fun as I always look forward to meeting other writers in the English J-Soccer Blogosphere.
Shimizu is 4 points ahead of us in the standings; we've also beaten them two times already this season. None of this matters of course because this home-and-away series will determine who goes to the finals of the 2009 Yamazaki Nabisco Cup.
Additionally, with Nagatomo and Konno in the Netherlands with the national team, tomorrow's lineup will probably look something like this:
DF: Tokunaga, Bruno, Moniwa, Mukuhara
MF: Yonemoto, Kajiyama, Ishikawa, Hanyu
FW: Cabore, Hirayama
The most important thing for Tokyo will be scoring precious away goals; a win would be fantastic of course but even a draw would have huge ramifications as long as it's not 0-0. The team seemed to awaken from its slumber against lowly Oita on Saturday and it was a welcome relief to see Ishikawa back on the field. Tokyo seemed to have a bit of rust in the first 30 minutes but dominated the second half, so I think they'll be going into Shimizu with the right mentality.
S-Pulse has had a much better summer than Tokyo, going undefeated (5 wins, 4 draws) in league play since their loss at Kokuritsu. Additionally, the Orange… whatevertheyares bounced back from a 2-1 loss at Saitama Stadium to beat Urawa 3-0 at home and advance to the semis. They are certainly one of the most formidable teams in the league right now and to underestimate them is to do so at one's own peril.
Anyway this will be my 3rd time visiting a new stadium this year (2009 has also marked my first trips to Hitachi Stadium and Kashima Stadium), thus fulfilling one of my New Years Resolutions. So, either way I'll have accomplished something!