|Tanaka H 62||Goals||.|
|Tanaka Y||Yellow Cards||Roberto
It’s always been obvious to MOIST that this blog is read in higher circles than you, our esteemed but hoi-polloi readers, mix in. Thursday saw the proof of this when Kuwahara elected to start the Oita game with Aria and Mizunuma in midfield. There were, of course, 2 major reasons for the change in the starting XI – Koji and Yuji are over in Bahrain getting ready for the Japan game – but MOIST gets the feeling that Kuwahara is much more in tune with squad rotation that Hayano will ever be.
And the kids? Now, didn’t they do well? For those of you that weren’t there the answer is yes, by the way.
In absolutely shocking conditions, including some snow flurries, the Marinos held an Oita team who have started the season in fine form to one decent shot on goal. That, though, was a belter. A Christiano Ronaldo-esque free kick from 25 yards by Edmilson that dipped and swerved and was destined for the bottom corner before Tetsuya dived low to push it away.
The threat of Ueslie was nullified well by the back three and, although there were times when it almost worked for Oita, they never really threatened too much. In the end it got too much for the chubby Brazilian and, after 74 minutes, he got his marching orders. He went down in a heap on the edge of the box under a challenge from Naoki. A clear professional foul, although from MOIST’s seat it looked like a clear dive. The ref gave Naoki a yellow not a red and Oita a free kick. Not so bad, MOIST thought.
That killed off any real threat that Oita may have offered, although, truth be known the second half had belonged to the Marinos. Yes, it wasn’t the prettiest of games and we didn’t really offer so much up front but without Koji we basically had 4 new players out of the midfield 3 and forward 2.
Of those 4, Mizunuma was starting a game for the first time, Aria was playing for the first time in a year and Lopes and Roni are slowly but surely fitting into the team. Indeed, it was Roni that unlocked the Oita door and set up the goal. He escaped down the right and cut into the box before pulling the ball back to the penalty spot. Added by a couple of deflections the ball fell to Hayuma and, from 12 yards, he smashed it into the back of the net.
Game over. Now it’s off to play Bogey Ardija in the hope of laying another hoodoo to rest.
Man of the Match: Aria – after a year out with injuries it was great to see him back and completing a full 90 minutes. Did nothing special but kept Oita quiet all game. The more fitness he gets the better he will be.
Yokohama F-Marinos: Tetsuya; Yuzo, Naoki, Yusuke; Komiyama, Hayuma, Aria, Lopes, Mizunuma; Roni (Sakata, 84), Oshima. Subs: Takakuwa, Ogura, Kanai, Hyodo, Mini-me, Shimizu, Sakata.
Kuwahara: “As I expected, the cold, wet conditions made the pitch very slippery which in turn made for a difficult game but, in spite of the conditions, the players remained focused until the end.
As for using the two young volante, I realised that I was lacking in options for those positions and so decided to give these two a chance to step up and contribute to the team. During the first half, they both done well in playing to their strengths. I feel these two have also shown us they have a lot potential for use in the future and I feel very fortunate to have these two at my disposal.
In the first half we played too many one touch, two touch plays so I asked the players to hold on to the ball and dribble a little more which they did throughout the second half.
Todays win was due to the efforts of the entire team. Winning games consecutively since the start of the season has resulted in the players knowing how good it feels to win games and the overall mood at the club and around the players is a very good one. We are looking now at continuing our run at Omiya on sunday. We will go there to win.
Matsuda was very efficient in solidifying our defence, dispossessing their players of the ball on a number of occasions. This was very important because fortifying our defence and not conceding any goals today was one of our priorities. Moving Matsuda back into defence enabled the younger players to make use of his experience and in turn help foster their own potential.”
Hasegawa Aria Jasuru: “At first I was nervous, but little by little my confidence began to grow and I soon felt comfortable. In order to win todays game to coach was very thorough in tightening up our defence. Todays victory was not only big for the team but it was also a big deal for me personally too. Next time I play, I want to ensure we get a result and also for me to show my strengths and continue to improve.”
Mizunuma Kota: “Todays game was the first that I had been chosen as a starting member. Until now, just playing for the full 90 mins would have been more than satisfying. Today those feelings come to an end. As from tomorrow, I will start to aim for a higher level within my game. The corner kicks today were heavily influenced by the wind so even the better balls in couldn’t get much lift which was a shame because everyone had to bunch together in the box which limited our chances to score.”
Tanaka Yusuke: “Towards the end they were reduced to 10 men and we were playing with the wind coming from behind us so I wanted to use that to our advantage. Ueslei is a very strong player physically and so I was careful not to get too close to him and defended from a distance. Aria and Mizunuma both played very well in front of me and were a huge help. Playing every game going against our opponents key strikers is giving me invaluable experience.”