Why no, I haven't disappeared into a black hole, but September was an unusually busy month for me and October isn't shaping up to be much freer. Here's what I've missed posting about:
-The Gamba Osaka match was pretty much exactly as you'd expect from an 0-0 draw; the team fought valiantly without Hirayama but it was pretty much a deadlock. Not even going to bother posting highlights, nothing to see here.
-The first half of the Jubilo Iwata match was pretty much as lifeless as the Gamba match… then it got interesting in the second half, turning into a back-and-forth shootout that culminated in a come-from-behind 3-2 Tokyo victory. Ishikawa, Nagatomo, and Akamine all contributed goals in the win.
-The Nagoya match was a much more fiercely contested match than expected. Tokyo went up 2-1 in the first half on goals by Ishikawa and Suzuki but faced a resurgent Nagoya in the second half. The team hit a roadblock when Teriyuki Moniwa sustained a severe cut under his eye after taking an inadvertent elbow from Aussie striker Kennedy. Still, Tokyo prevailed and is currently in 7th place.
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-Four FCT players were named to the National Team for October's matches: Konno, Nagatomo, Ishikawa, and Tokunaga. For some reason or another Ishikawa was left off the squad for the Hong Kong game, a 6-0 romping by Japan in which Nagatomo scored a goal and Tokunaga contributed an assist as a substitute. Ishikawa finally found a starting role in last night's exhibition game against Scotland, a largely meaningless affair that Japan finally won 2-0
And now I'm off to Ajinomoto Stadium to watch anyone Jofuku deems healthy enough to play take on Kamatamare Sanuki in the Emperor's Cup Round 2. I expect that both Sanuki fans making the trip will be very nice people.
Short and sweet because it’s Golden Week and I’ve got to pump out 3 or 4 more of these.
Tonight’s match at Banpaku finds both teams struggling; the home team has to play 7 matches in 22 days due to its ACL commitments while FC Tokyo has yet to score more than one goal in any match this season.
I’m going to repeat that because it sounds a little important. FC Tokyo has yet to score more than one goal in any match this season. That includes 7 league matches and 2 Nabisco Cup matches for a total of 9 goals in 9 games. Compare to last season when in 9 games the team scored 14 goals (granted that includes 6 league matches and 3 Nabisco matches, but that’s splitting hairs). The team has excelled in winning close matches it probably doesn’t deserve to win (see Iwata and Oita) but has set new standards for futility in losing matches everyone was expecting it to win (Chiba, Niigata, etc).
In the battle of the forwards, the big head to head is Yusuke Kondo for Tokyo against Gamba’s own former FCT squadmember Lucas. Lucas scored in both matches against Tokyo last year (one of which was a draw, the other a win for the blue and red) and has stated his desire for a 3rd in a row. Yusuke on the other hand has continued to get starts but hasn’t contributed enough in the scoring department to make the case for not being substituted.
If Tokyo can pull off another win in enemy territory, the team might return to Ajinomoto Stadium on Saturday with something resembling momentum. If not, then the struggle will likely continue. Tokyo squandered a great start to the 2008 season in last year’s Golden Week Sprint, maybe the team will find solid ground after a shaky start in this year’s.
|J.League Division 1 Week 8
2 – 0
2 – 2
4 – 2
|April 24th 2009, 7PM Kickoff at Expo ‘70 “Banpaku” Stadium (Osaka City, Osaka) Attendance 16,853
|GK 22 Yosuke Fujigaya
DF 27 Hideo Hashimoto
DF 2 Sota Nakazawa
DF 5 Satoshi Yamaguchi
DF 19 Takumi Shimohira
MF 17 Tomokazu Myojin
MF 7 Yasuhito Endo
MF 16 Hayato Sasaki
MF 9 Lucas Severino
FW 18 Cho Jae-Jin
FW 23 Leandro
|GK Shuichi Gonda
DF 25 Yuhei Tokunaga
DF 3 Hideki Sahara
DF 2 Teruyuki Moniwa
DF 5 Yuto Nagatomo
MF 6 Yasuyuki Konno
MF 22 Naotake Hanyu
MF 18 Naohiro Ishikawa
MF 10 Yohei Kajiyama
FW 9 Cabore
FW 32 Yusuke Kondo
|74' 8 Shinishi Terada (for Hayato Sasaki)
78' 11 Ryuji Bando (for Cho Jae-Jin)
89' 20 Shu Kurata (for Lucas Severino)
||58' 33 Kenta Mukuhara (for Hideki Sahara)
61' 24 Shingo Akamine (for Yusuke Kondo)
69' 40 Tatsuya Suzuki (for Naotake Hanyu)
|19' Own Goal
25' Lucas Severino
68' Cho Jae-Jin
||79' Naohiro Ishikawa
81' Tatsuya Suzuki
||31' Naotake Hanyu
No report as I didn't watch the game, but this should be noted as the first game of the season that Tokyo scored more than one goal so I guess that's progress?