Sunday, October 5, 2008

J-League week 28

Before the international break, week twenty-eight of the J-League concluded with a number of surprises and has Nagoya Grampus 名古屋グランパス and Kashima Antlers 鹿島アントラーズ still deadlock in the top spot.

Oita Trinita - 0
Kawasaki Frontale - 3
Frontale devastated Ōita in front of 20,000 supporters. Ex Santos-man Renatinho scored twice for Frontale, starting twenty-three minutes into the match and adding his second four minutes later. Juninho added the third thirteen minutes after the break in a match that featured uncharacteristically poor defending my Ōita

Kawasaki Frontale

Oita Trinita

Shimizu S-Pulse - 5
FC Tokyo - 1
A stunning loss in front of their home fans for the Gas Men and a missed opportunity to climb to within two points of first place.

Kenta Hasegawa's S-Pulse youthful lineup went on the attack early and Masaki Yamamoto staking his claim for a call-up by Takeshi Okada, with a goal at the twenty minute mark. FC Tokyo continued to attack but finishing was off and six minutes before the break Keisuke Iwashita doubled the score. Kazuki Hara concluded the horror show of a first half for the Gas Men with a third strike to give S-Pulse a 3-0 lead at the break. FC Tokyo poured forward to get back in the match and fourteen minutes after the break Emerson made it 3-1 but Japan Olympian Shinji Okazaki put it out of reach with twelve minutes left before veteran striker Mitsuhiro Toda added the fifth of the day as time was running out.

Urawa Red Diamonds - 2
JEF United Ichihara-Chiba - 3
JEF has to be the shock of the J-League, if not through the Footballing world this month. Only two months ago, relegation seemed to be their destiny but manager Alex Miller has turned them around completely with five successive victories including Nagoya Grampus Eight, Kashima Antlers and the Red Diamonds.

JEF played a very tight defensive match and tried to cut down the quality scoring opportunities of the Red Diamonds. While finishing wasn't optimal by Urawa most of their chances were from poor range or with bad sight lines. However the match started in a peculiar fashion as Masaki Fukai opened the scoring in the first minute and Japanese international Marcus Tulio Tanaka brought it level seven minutes later. The action was fast but neither club could score till the break. Alex Miller continued with this counter-attack idea and as the Red Diamonds pushed forward, Masaki Fakai gave JEF the lead twelve minutes after the break. New-man Michael doubled the lead nine minutes later and while Urawa pressed to get back in the match it wasn't till four minutes left that Edmilson they could draw one back. There were a number of close efforts as the match wound down but JEF prevailed and the Red Diamonds missed a huge opportunity to stand atop the table.

Tokyo Verdy 1969 - 1
Nagoya Grampus Eight - 1
The scoreline is a bit deceiving as this match provided many scoring opportunities as both clubs went on the hunt for goals. Five minutes before the break Yukio Tsuchiya gave Verdy the lead. While Grampus were highly aggressive they couldn't find the net. With their home fans urging them on Norway international Frode Johnsen found the leveler with a minute left in regulation.

Kashima Antlers - 0
Gamba Osaka - 0
The scoreline is extremely misleading as this featured numerous close calls and end to end action. However both clubs exhibited brilliant defending in the final stage and 'keepers Yosuke Fujigaya and Hitoshi Sogahata came out with deserved clean sheets.

Kashiwa Reysol - 4
Omiya Ardija - 0
A shocked home crown in Omiya witnessed one of the performances of the weekend as Reysol's Yusuke Murakami struck for three goals prior to the break, at ten, fourteen and forty-fourth minute. Minoru Suganuma made it 4-0, three minutes after the break in a match that Omiya was never able to really get into.

Yokohama F. Marinos - 0
Albirex Niigata - 0
With the best crowd of the weekend at Niigata Stadium, Albirex and Yokohama played brilliant fundamental Football, never allowing either squad clear momentum in a tactically rich match. Deservingly the match ended in a draw.

Kyoto Purple Sanga - 1
Vissel Kobe - 4
Japan international Yoshito Okubo gave Kobe the lead early at the two minute mark in a highly attacking match. Toshihiko Uchiyama doubled the lead just after the break before Sanga's Yutaka Tahara drew one back. With Vissel Kobe's Teruaki Kobayashi expelled for his second yellow card twenty-three minutes after the break, Sanga poured forward to level the match but Leandro and scored with thirteen minutes left and Yoshito Okubo added his second of the day a minute later.

Consadole Sapporo - 0
Jubilo Iwata - 5
Home supporters watched Júbilo destroy J-2 destined Consadole Sapporo as Japanese international Ryoichi Maeda (前田 遼一 unleashed three goals before the break. Yusuke Inuzuka added to completely one-sided match.

The J-League if off with the international break till the 17th of the month.

J-League week 28PWDLGSGAPts
Kashima Antlers 28 14 8 6 49 26 50
Nagoya Grampus Eight 28 15 5 8 41 30 50
Kawasaki Frontale 28 14 6 8 51 37 48
Oita Trinita 28 14 6 8 30 22 48
Urawa Red Diamonds 28 13 8 7 45 31 47
FC Tokyo 28 13 6 9 40 37 45
Gamba Osaka 28 12 8 8 39 35 44
Shimizu S-Pulse 28 11 7 10 37 36 40
Vissel Kobe 28 9 10 9 34 31 37
Kashiwa Reysol 28 10 6 12 38 36 36
Kyoto Purple Sanga 28 10 6 12 29 36 36
Albirex Niigata 28 10 6 12 27 40 36
Yokohama F. Marinos 28 9 8 11 28 27 35
JEF United Ichihara-Chiba 28 9 6 13 29 43 33
Jubilo Iwata 28 9 5 14 35 41 32
Tokyo Verdy 1969 28 9 5 14 36 43 32
Omiya Ardija 28 9 5 14 28 39 32
Consadole Sapporo 28 4 5 19 32 58 17