Competition: J.League Division 1
Date: Saturday, 17th July 2010 (19:00 kick off)
Venue: Kashima Stadium
|FELLYPE GABRIEL 21'
(INAMOTO sent off 42')
DF ITO (replaced by NOBORIZATO 81')
MF INAMOTO (yellow card 23', 42')
MF VITOR JUNIOR (replaced by KUSUKAMI 75')
FW RENATINHO (replaced by TANIGUCHI 87')
An away day in Kashima is a tough enough prospect with 11 players on the field. So it was no great surprise to see Frontale come away with nothing following the first-half dismissal of Junichi Inamoto.
That's not to say they didn't have their chances. Had the likes of Renatinho and Vitor been a bit more clinical on the counter in the second half, it could have been a very different story. Although, to be fair, Takashi Aizawa's goal did live a charmed existence at times.
(For those wondering why Aizawa's suddenly been promoted to first-choice keeper, Riki Sugiyama picked up a calf injury in training the day before the Omiya match and is likely to be out for at least a month.)
There's still a long way to go this season, but the boys now need a decent run of three-pointers if they're to avoid falling too far off the pace.
However, after the loss of two big names (in Eiji and Tese), one gets the feeling that some kind of morale booster is now required to get things back on track, whether it be the return to action of an in-form Juninho or a new signing. Worryingly, I'm not too sure how likely either of these is.