Competition: J.League - Division 1
Date: Saturday, 10th April 2010 (14:00 kick off)
Venue: Hiroshima Big Arch
VITOR JUNIOR 79'
DF KOMIYAMA (yellow card 35')
MF INAMOTO (replaced by YOKOYAMA 76')
MF TASAKA (replaced by NOBORIZATO 82')
FW KUROTSU (replaced by VITOR JUNIOR 76')
Early goals in each half from Renatinho and Kurotsu paved the way for a comfortable three-point haul in Hiroshima. Vitor Junior, on again as a second-half sub, dribbled the length of the pitch before slotting in a third to add some polish to the final scoreline.
Just 6 minutes in, Sanfrecce were the architects of their own downfall, coughing up possession in a dangerous area and allowing Chong Tese the space to weigh up his options. In the end it was a bread-and-butter finish for Renatinho. But it's further evidence of Chong's improvement that he had the wherewithal to pick out his Brazilian colleague rather than take a pop at goal himself.
Neither keeper was unduly troubled for the rest of the half. Frontale played tidily enough without ever really hitting top gear. The main worry from Hiroshima's perspective was the lack of pressure they were able to exert on an eerily cool, calm and collected Igawa-Terada partnership.
Then, five minutes after the interval, Kurotsu put the game to bed with a fine strike from the corner of the penalty area. From Mori's quickly-taken free-kick, the striker cut back inside his marker before angling a fizzer just inside the near post. Could the keeper have got a stronger hand on it? Was there a slight deflection on the way? Who knows? Who cares?
As the second half wore on, Sanfrecce pushed forward creating more opportunities for Frontale to threaten on the counter. Chong and Renatinho both might have done better against a stretched Sanfrecce defence. Both later managed to force decent stops from Nishikawa in goal.
At the other end, the introduction of Tadanari Lee and Toshihiro Aoyama gave a bit more bite to the Hiroshima attack. But then, just as the home team was beginning to assert itself, came the timely arrival of Vitor Junior.
The pint-sized midfielder sealed the deal almost immediately after coming on for Kurotsu. Picking up possession deep inside his own half, he rolled away from one challenge, brushed off another, raced down the middle and struck from the edge of the box. Impressive stuff from a player who looks like he's finally put his injury woes behind him. Mind you, not the most committed defending from Sanfrecce.
A fun-filled week now lies ahead. First a chance to claw back some self respect in the ACL on Wednesday against runaway group leaders Seongnam Ilhwa. Then the ever-eventful annual trip to Urawa at the weekend.