Thursday, September 03, 2009

Kawasaki Frontale v Yokohama F Marinos

Nabisco Cup: SF 1st leg: Wed, 2nd September 2009

Kawasaki Frontale 2 - 0 Yokohama F Marinos

Venue: Todoroki Stadium
Attendance: 11,850

Frontale head to the Nissan Stadium on Sunday buoyed by a 2-0 victory over Yokohama F Marinos in the 1st leg of their Nabisco Cup semi-final.

Goals in each half from Chong Tese and Juninho put the home team in the driving seat. Renatinho made an all-too-rare start in a three-pronged attack, but failed to add his name to the scoresheet.

The team coped admirably in the absence of their Japan internationals. Yabu stood in for Kengo, as expected. But it was a surprise to see Riki Sugiyama make his debut between the sticks in place of big Eiji.

The more experienced Takashi Aizawa (who was first choice for much of Cerezo Osaka's J2 campaign last year) would have been the obvious replacement. But an impressive performance from young Riki fully justified his selection. His tears of joy at the final whistle, having kept the Marinos attack at bay, were testament to his overall contribution to the game.

After the mixed emotions of Sunday's draw with S-Pulse, it was important to get off to a good start. And Chong Tese, looking much livelier than he did at the weekend, delivered the goods after just 15 minutes.

A passage of quick passing in midfield gave Mori some space down the right. The full-back cut inside his opposite number and sent a low cross-cum-shot towards the far post. Marinos keeper Hiroki Iikura looked to have it covered, but Chong came bursting in late, directing the ball into the opposite corner with the tip of his fluorescent boot. Encouraging signs from a player whose predatory powers have been called into question recently.

Juninho made things more comfortable shortly after the break, converting Murakami's cross with a well-placed header. That the Brazilian marksman was afforded so much room perhaps owes something to the absence of Marinos captain and marshall of defence, Yuji Nakazawa.

Chong later had a glorious chance to secure Frontale's progress to the final, but shot straight at Iikura after bullying his way past the last defender. Still, a combination of disciplined defending and confident goal-keeping from the hosts, as well as the odd wayward finish from the visitors, leaves our Kanagawa cousins with it all to do in the 2nd leg.


Nick said...

Bring home the cup this year!

dokool said...

Oh hey, you guys are updating again.

I believe, as they say on 'the streets', it is on?

manyar said...

Like we ever went away! (he says, having yet to write the 2nd leg report).

Anyway, congrats on your progress to the final. Hope you like crispy duck cos we're gonna take you down to I believe they say on certain streets.

dokool said...


I do enjoy crispy duck, particularly as a side dish to roasted dolphin.

manyar said...

Fighting talk from the big-bollocked tanuki boys!

dokool said...

Hey, having the biggest balls in a fight means that you automatically come out swinging.

On a somewhat-serious note, would you guys be interested in some sort of banner/standard exchange to commemorate the occasion? We've certainly got enough international supporters on both sides to make it a fun pre-game gathering.

manyar said...

With a post-match ceremonial banner/standard burning for the disgruntled loser?

But, somewhat seriously, it might be an idea to move "meet and greet" discussion to the Nabisco thread on BigSoccer.

manyar said...

Fighting talk from the big-bollocked tanuki boys!

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