J.League Division 1: Sat, 26th April 2008
|3 - 2|
|JUNINHO 67' (pen.)
LEE sent off 90'
KOBAYASHI sent off 90'
Venue: Todoroki Stadium
Two goals down at half time, Frontale staged a great comeback to beat Kashiwa Reysol 3 - 2 on Saturday and give new coach Tsutomu Takahata his first league victory since taking over from Takashi Sekizuka.
The 2 - 0 half time scoreline slightly flattered Kashiwa. However, Frontale had been looking very ineffectual going forward and had real problems retaining possession.
With the start of the second half taking much the same shape as the first, Takahata took the decisive step of a double substitution - taking off the defensive Kikuchi for the creative Ohashi and replacing Chong Tese, who'd done little all game but give the ball away, with Kurotsu. The result was a Frontale team who were finding themselves with much more time and space in their opponent's half of the field.
It was a fairly dubious penalty call that gave Juninho the opportunity to get Frontale back in the game. The Brazilian's execution wasn't the best, but the ball ended up slipping under the keeper's body and into the back of the net.
It was all Frontale from then on. Mori got the equaliser from just outside the box after the Kashiwa defence were slow to push out. Then with 5 minutes left, centre-back Igawa with few options ahead of him hit a screamer from 30+ yards. The keeper should really have dealt with it better, but Taniguchi was first to follow up and smash the rebound into the back of the net.
The visitors almost grabbed an equaliser in the last minute of added time. Kurotsu gave the ball away far too easily and Kashiwa launched a last gasp attack which ended with Eiji Kawashima expertly holding onto a fierce shot that was skidding awkwardly towards goal.
The icing on the cake for the Kashiwa manager was seeing two of his players sent off for berating the ref after the final whistle. Not a good day at the office.