Competition: AFC Champions League - Group E
Date: Tuesday, 23rd March 2010 (19:00 kick off)
Venue: Todoroki Stadium
DF IGAWA (yellow card 21')
MF INAMOTO (replaced by YOKOYAMA '78)
MF TANIGUCHI (yellow card 30')
MF TASAKA (replaced by KUSUKAMI 86')
FW KUROTSU (replaced by NOBORIZATO 90')
FW CHONG (yellow card 34', red card 45')
Bit of a delay getting this report up, but to be honest I wasn't sure what to make of the game.
Let's be frank - Melbourne were awful. They certainly have their excuses (and I'm sure next week's return fixture will be less one-sided). But for the first half of Tuesday night's encounter it was real amateur stuff from the Australians.
Renatinho is someone they'll need to deal with a lot better back in Oz. He was the star of the show, setting up Chong Tese for the first within minutes of kick-off and scoring the third with a fine solo effort.
Kurotsu's goal was a touch fortuitous as his flick-on from Tasaka's free kick looped just inside the top corner, giving the Melbourne keeper no chance. But the sheer ease with which Frontale were controlling possession and carving out opportunities was almost as embarrassing for the home fans as for the travelling support.
Had Chong not reacted so rashly to Grant Brebner's manhandling on the stroke of half time, it could (and should) have been a lot worse for the visitors. As it was, they were able to cope a little better against ten men in the second half. But it was only really after the arrival of substitutes Marvin Angulo and Matthew Foschini - who at least seemed less intent on giving the ball away - that Frontale were put under any pressure.
During their brief spell in the ascendancy, Nik Mrdja (who was on the end of a 5-0 Frontale thumping last season with Central Coast Mariners) missed two decent chances. But it would have been a travesty for the game to end with anything less than a four-goal margin. And it was captain Taniguchi who wrapped things up with a tap-in at the far post after a long ball from Kawashima to Renatinho had outwitted the beleaguered Melbourne defence.
Nice as it is to bounce back from a 4-0 defeat with a 4-0 victory, I'm not sure what Frontale can really take from this game. The important thing is that we finally have points on the board. And, with Seongnam beating Beijing 3-1 in the group's other game, that second qualification spot is suddenly looking a lot more attainable.
Huge game against S-Pulse on Saturday.