Yes, we are alive!

We haven’t posted here for a long time so I thought I would report on our activities this month to show what we have been up to.

April 2nd 2016 – Away to Gamba Osaka

It was a rainy start to the month. I took a day off before the match and went to Kyoto in the pouring rain. The last time I went was in January 1989 so I needed to refresh my memory.

The weather cleared up the next day.

 

The match itself was held at the brand new Suita Soccer Stadium. It’s great stadium and is well worth a visit. Sendai stadium still remains my favourite Away venue because of the ease of access and the acoustics are somehow better to generate an atmosphere at the Away end.

The match was pretty memorable with:

  • A goal from a Shunsuke direct free kick. A previous attempt from a similar distance had gone awry with a comical slip sending the ball into the stands.
  • Two new players making their debut Kayke and Martinus. Martinus was a complete surprise having only arrived in Japan about a week before and introduced with little notice.
  • Martinus ran around the field like a crazy man and was fouled by and probably fouled by half the Gamba team. His team goal combination with Manabu was really the highlight of the face.
  • Gamba’s first goal was scored by one of our former players. I forget his name though..

Final Score was 2-1 to us. We celebrated at TGIF in Namba afterwards. The following day I flew to Fukushima to attend Hiroshi Ochai-san’s wedding party.

I spoke on Episode 178 – 2016 J1 Matchday 5 about this match.

Wednesday April 6th – Nabisco Cup at Home at Mitsuzawa against Kashima Reysol

A group of us attended this Night Game against Kashima. Final Score 1-3 to Kashima. Unfortunately the team did not take our advice..

Sunday April 10th – Home at Nissan stadium against Urawa Reds

A scoreless draw with both sides looking happy for the draw given the surprise drubbing received in the previous year’s match at Nissan Stadium.

 

Saturday April 16th – Away at Iwata

It was really hot lining up outside Yamaha Stadium. First sunburn of the year.

We were 1-4 up at half time and it was pretty much a party from then on.

Manabu’s goal was reccomended as one of the best goals that week. The message about shooting at goal must have got through as the final score was 1-5 to us.

Wednesday April 20th – Home at Mitsuzawa against Sagan Tosu.

Final Score 1-0 to us. Ito show penalty after a Tosu hand-ball.

 

 

Sunday 24th April – Home at Nissan Stadium against Hiroshima Sanfrecce Hiroshima

Even though the first goal against us was pretty comedic, a gift deflection off Shunsuke’s knee as he ran and subsequent fumble by Ikura to send the ball to wish-he-had-stayed-at-Shimizu Utaka, the highlights don’t show the ridiculous nature of the second goal. Immediately after placing the ball in the net with from a penalty, Shunsuke was leading the charge towards the Hiroshima end and was brought down. Assuming it was a foul against him, picked up the ball to take a free kick. The referee inferred that he hadn’t blown the whistle (why?) and gave the free kick to Hiroshima for hand-ball totally reversing the flow of the game. Hiroshima took the kick and two passes later it was in our net for an final deciding goal. We’ve had some good luck with referees this month but this probably was the weirdest decision against us I have ever seen.

Action leading up to the penalty.

The Penalty itself.

 

About stuartcw

Englishman born in Leamington Spa who has lived and worked continuously in Japan since 1988.
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