Well, it was going to happen wasn’t it? Pit the top of J1 against the bottom and you’re bound to see a drubbing right? Well, no, not in this league anyway…
Truth is, our next door neighbors actually gave us a bit of hassle last night as they even fielded a twelfth player, put him in a yellow uniform, and didn’t pass the ball to him once all game! Pretty bizarre huh?
Despite all the usual rivalry that goes along with a Kanagawa derby, I couldn’t help but feel that this game was tainted with a “Meh, It’s only the Nabisco Cup. Who cares?” kind of atmosphere. Sure, the supporters were going bananas like we always do but our tenacity wasn’t exactly mirrored on the pitch. This was a very pedestrian game at best. Kawasaki seemed to create the lion share of chances in the first half but (thankfully) their finishing was abysmal 99% of the time. Personal highlights for me included seeing our young Brazilian defender, Fabio, get a run out. He showed a lot of promise dropping back to intercept and had no qualms about pushing forward whenever the chance presented itself. He even came close to scoring in the second half when he headed a cross toward the far post but was ultimately denied by the keeper who pushed it wide. It was also nice to see coach Higuchi take more of a chance on Manabu Saito by giving him a starting spot. Manabu has played well enough to deserve a starting spot so it was a bit of a shame that he couldn’t slam a goal home to dispel any reservations that Higuchi may still have.
The game was pretty average at best but the refereeing in this match was bordering on ridiculous. Almost every poor tackle, or trip that the F.Marinos incurred in the Frontale half was waved away as if nothing happened. At first it just seemed coincidental but as the game wore on, the players were clearly becoming agitated as even the usually mild-mannered Shunsuke Nakamura started to openly protest some of the calls being made. In fact, Despite the win, Shunsuke actually had a snipe at the officials at the end of the game by saying how relieved he was that “We beat Kawasaki and their ref”, a comment that no doubt would have landed him in hot water were it being broadcasted.
At present it still remains a bit of a mystery as to what actually happened regarding Marquinhos’ sending off immediately after he scored from a Nakamura cross in the 83rd minute. He lifted his shirt over his face, exposing his chest and stomach by means of goal celebration and was immediately met with a second yellow and subsequent red card. Sure, it wasn’t a straight red but it’s not like he took his shirt off either so the booking was a little harsh I feel. Perhaps he heckled the ref a little too much prior to the goal? It’s a blow for us regardless as a 2 match ban is not really what we wanted coming out of this game.
1-0 will suffice. We’re sitting pretty in 2nd place in the group below Jubilo and have Ventforet on Saturday so hopefully we can extend our winning streak to 5 games in a row in Yamanashi. Until then, VAMOS!
Here’s the highlight reel:
F.Marinos Starting XI: Enomoto, Kobayashi, Nakazawa, Fabio, Dutra, Nakamachi, Tomisawa, Hyodo, Nakamura, Saito, and Marquinhos.
F.Marinos Substitions: Hyodo → Fujita (74), Saito → Sato (94)
Goals: Marquinhos (83)