Monday, October 06, 2008

Kawasaki Frontale v Oita Trinita

J.League Division 1: Sat, 4th October 2008

Kawasaki Frontale 3 - 0 Oita Trinita
RENATINHO 23', 27'

Venue: Todoroki Stadium
Attendance: 20,455

Only saw the goals for this game, so not sure how good we actually were. But you can't really argue with 3-0 against a team who were topping the league a couple of weeks back.

A rare daytime match saw another impressive turnout at Todoroki (almost matching the last home gate versus next-door neighbours, FC Tokyo). There's clearly a feeling amongst the Frontale faithful that this could be the year.

Oita won't have been helped by the absence of main danger man, Ueslei, through suspension. Nevertheless, 3-0 is a comfortable victory and, as the ancient book of proverbs says, you can only play what's in front of you.

Coach Takahata gave Renatinho another start and the young Brazilian seized the opportunity to consolidate his place ahead of both Kurotsu and Ganaha in the current pecking order.

To be fair, his first goal was served up with a fairly generous slice of good fortune. Kengo played an awkward long ball behind the Trinita backline. It was allowed to bounce and Rentinho stole inside his defender and slotted the ball home. The replay shows that as he went past his man there may have been a little more hand involved than the law usually permits, but neither the linesman nor referee spotted it.

His second, a few minutes later, needed no such luck. The visitors lost possession in midfield and Chong Tese fed his young colleague who ran at the heart of the Trinita defence with speed and control before unleashing a low, swerving drive into the corner of the net.

And the star-in-the-making could have had his hat-trick in the second half, if Juninho hadn't had other ideas. On 58 minutes Frontale broke on the counter, but rather than squaring to his unmarked protege, Juni went alone and cracked Frontale's third into the top right corner. Renatinho didn't seem quite as thrilled during the goal celebrations as the rest of his team mates. But you've got to keep these youngsters' feet on the ground, haven't you?

With most of the weekend's other results going in Frontale's favour they now find themselves just 2 points off pole position with 6 games to go. Fasten your seatbelts!


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