Monday, March 23, 2009

JEF United v Kawasaki Frontale

J.League Division 1: Sun, 22nd March 2009

JEF United 1 - 1 Kawasaki Frontale

Venue: Fukuda Denshi Arena
Attendance: 14,544

"Never in the field of Chiba was so much wasted by so many resulting in so few goals," would have been Winston Churchill's post-match analysis of this game.

Only caught a few glimpses, but from what I hear, after sleepily conceding in the opening seconds, Frontale dominated JEF for the remaining 89 minutes of Sunday's match. Yet for all their possession and territorial superiority, and despite more test-tube tinkering from Sekizuka, the chemical imbalance up front continues to cause problems.

A point away from home is by no means a disaster, especially given the way things have been going this season. But it doesn't bode well for a team that relies so heavily on its much-envied strike-force to be having such difficulty finding the net.

It was the same side that started aganst Pohang on Wednesday, although Mori and Murakami were given a bit more licence to come forward. Taniguchi, having suffered a broken nose during the week, only managed half a game and was replaced by an attack-minded Tasaka at the break.

Not sure why Renatinho was left out in the cold. He may not be the epitome of a "team player", but he's got buckets more talent than Kurotsu who came on for Chong Tese in the final minutes. Maybe Sekizuka's looking to instil a bit more discipline in him. Good luck on that one.

What's encouraging is to see Juninho finally open his account. And what a way to do it - curling a left-footer right into the corner from the edge of the area. It's a little concerning that it took a moment of individual brilliance to penetrate JEF's defense, but let's not forget that the turnaround at the start of last season coincided with the veteran Brazilian's return to goal-scoring form. Is this the omen we've been waiting for?


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