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.