Hey Everyone! Yokohama F.Marinos kicked off their 2014 campaign with two real poor showings against last years Champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the Xerox Cup, as well as 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Jeonbuk Hyundai of Korea in the Asian Champions League.These two poor results had pushed the panic button for some of us and with the J1 season starting it appeared we could be in trouble in the goal scoring department as we had yet to get ourselves a goal in our first two matches. Things were uncertain who could break the floodgates open when F.Marinos kicked off the 2014 J1 season at home versus Omiya Ardija.
F.Marinos took control of the match early and rewarded after Manabu Saito made one of his trademark dashes into the box only to be bundled over, new signing Jungo Fujimoto hit the loose ball to the keepers right and F.Marinos had their first goal of the 2014 season. After a chance for new signing Ito Sho the score remained 1-0 at HT. The Saitama Squirrels got themselves back into the match after the restart and appeared as though they stood a chance of levelling the match. The game wore on and it seemed as if at any moments Yokohama’s slender lead would disappear. Then out of nowehere Ito Sho collected a ball from roughly 40 M and blasted an absolute thunderbolt to secure a 2-0 victory for F.Marinos. Job done.
Next up for the boys was a trip to the picturesque views of Shizuoka versus Shimizu S-Pulse. Shimizu was itching for this fixture as last season they had taken an almighty thumping from Yokohama and were keen to get some revenge. Shimizu had in the off season pipped Marinos for front man Novakovic from Omiya Ardija, it seemed for me personally that he would likely inflict some damage. F.Marinos established an early lead after Seitaro Tomisawa found Manabu Saito with a long and accurate pass to the flank. The Samurai Blue speedster left his marker for dead and slid the ball past the keeper for the opening goal. The contest was to become a bit chippy with F.Marinos picking up 4 yellow cards, but it was to be Sugiyama of Shimizu who would see red after a second bookable offence. It was nice to see a fellow Canadian Dejan Jakovic playing in the J.League for a club I have a soft spot for. Yokohama enjoyed their lead though and held off Shimizu to a few minimal chances. This looked like a familiar scoreline as we have been able to grind out these kinds of results in the past and it proved to come true on the day. A late Genki Omae effort buzzed past the post and Shimizu were once again left to reflect on another home defeat to Yokohama.