After suffering our first defeat of the season away to Hiroshima last week, the F.Marinos were eager to restore their previous form on Saturday against the Blue and Crimson dogs of Yamanashi, Ventforet Kofu. Unfortunately for the hapless visitors, it only took 25 minutes for the home team to put the game out of reach…
Everyone says that football is a game of two halves but after watching the game on Saturday, I’d be inclined to disagree. This game was only 45 minutes long.
The floodgates were released in the 11th minute when upon earning a corner kick, Nakamura Shunsuke coolly stepped up and nailed the ball right onto the head of a perfectly positioned Taniguchi Hiroyuki who jumped up to bury the ball into the inside near post with one of those heading shots that he has threatened to score with so many times this season. This time he made no mistake and delivered the goods as the crowd erupted into cheer and rejoiced as we celebrated not only a fine goal but Taniguchi’s first of the season.
It only took a mere 6 minutes before Yokohama got a second, this time from Watanabe Kazuma who latching onto a pass that took him into the right flank of the penalty area, skillfully back-heeled the ball to take it past his mark before cutting back across the box to slam it home with a powerful left-footed drive that found its home in the back of the net. 2-0 to the F.Marinos.
By this point, Kofu were somewhat in array defensively with Brazilian defender Daniel Silva dos Santos constantly finding himself having the impossible task of closing down 2 strikers at once. This lack of defensive taciturn was exploited for a 3rd time in the 25th minute when Oguro Masashi finding himself unmarked, was fed a ball that came in from the wing and passed forward by Watanabe, leaving just himself facing the keeper. It didn’t take a second to decide what course of action to take and so, with a single touch of the ball, he effortlessly put the ball past the keeper to put Yokohama even further ahead, and realistically beyond reach of the visitors.
The Kofu defense began to straighten their back line out after making some tactical adjustments but it was to prove too little too late and after 15 minutes of heave ho, Oguro struck again in emphatic fashion as he ran into space on a sudden break and latched onto a beautiful cross in from Watanabe on the right wing to nod the ball home and well and truly put the game to rest before half-time.
….And that’s pretty much all that happened. There allegedly was a second-half apparently but by that point most of us weren’t really paying attention as we knew we had the game in the bag so it was just a 45 minute long party singing our lungs out and jumping up and down like nutcases (actually it was probably just me that stopped paying attention…)
Actually, the game was a great day out for another reason besides the 4-0 spanking and three points, and that reason can be seen in the picture here on the right. That’s right, we met up with signor Lewis Tosey, an F.Marinos supporter from London that came to his first game after a whopping 11 year drought, and West Ham Dan, another Londoner that has been here in Japan for 9 years and just emerged out of the woodwork in pursuit of a slightly higher level of play than what he’s had to put up with from his beloved Hammers 😉
….Oh and Piero of course, who is a pretty much a legend now and doesn’t really need any introductions!
So basically, one foreigner for every goal scored!
All in all, a great day (and a messy night) and one I shan’t forget anytime soon!
As usual, here’s the highlights reel for those that missed out!:
Yokohama F.Marinos: Ikura, Kobayashi, Kurihara, Nakazawa, Hato, Ogura, Nakamura, Hyodo, Taniguchi, Oguro, and Watanabe.
Ventforet Kofu: Ogi, Ichikawa, Daniel, Yamamoto, Yoshida, Ito, Hosaka, Uchida, Nagasato, Abe, and Havenaar.
F.Marinos Substitutions: Nakamura → Kano (59), Watanabe → Aria (65), Oguro → Kunhoan (84)
Goals: Taniguchi (11), Watanabe (17), Oguro (25), (40).