Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Tianjin Teda v Kawasaki Frontale

AFC Champions League - Group H: Tue, 5th May 2009

Tianjin Teda 3 - 1 Kawasaki Frontale
MA LEILEI 12', 19'

Venue: Tianjin Teda Stadium
Attendance: 15,717

If anyone needed evidence of what an ugly display of anti-football the AFC can sometimes throw up, they need look no further than this.

With Pohang having beaten Central Coast earlier in the day, Tianjin came into this Group H tie with nothing left to play for but their honour. Sadly, their by-any-means-necessary 3-1 win over a bruised and battered Frontale will probably leave them brimming with pride.

"I won't comment on the fouls - it's up to the referee to decide", was the Tianjin manger's post-match analysis. However, with the incompetent officials showing about as much authority as Bambi at a deer hunters' convention, the game quickly descended into a contest of kick or be kicked. How both teams ended up with 11 men still on the field is anybody's guess.

Footage of the game has already been banned in several countries, so gratuitous was some of the violence on display. The individual incidents are too many to go into, but the worst was probably a career-threatening, two-footed lunge at Terada's standing leg just before half-time.

And it wasn't just the players. Following a mix-up in which the referee booked Kengo despite Mori's protestations that he had been the offender, there was a mass on-field altercation in which one of Tianjin's staff appeared to kick a Frontale player. Goes without saying that no replay was shown and no punishment will be dished out.

Amateurish, Farcical, Contemptible. Sort it out AFC. This joke's not funny any more.


GJB said...

Last night was indeed beyond a joke! I can't remember the last time I got that wound up watching a game. The ref was way out of his depth, though he was trying, to give him some credit. Can't help but feel it also highlighted Frontale's mental frailty. Not the minds of champions - that's for sure. I know Terada was getting a fair share of it but his continuing Bambi impressions are something of a worry. Here's hoping for a display at Urawa more reminiscent of last year's trip than recent performances.

manyar said...

Yeah, they certainly don't like it up 'em. But last night was pretty extreme.

Defensively, I see Igawa as the weakest link. His positional play is poor and I think that exposes Terada's weaknesses. Terada was as solid as I've seen him for the few games Ito was in the middle with him.

While Ito's injured I'd rather see Yokoyama take Igawa's place. Either that or...Kikuchi?!!! If they don't make any changes from the back 4 that's taken the field in the last two games, Sunday could be quite embarrassing.

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