Nabisco Cup Rd 2 vs Omiya Ardija


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. Goals .
Daigo Kobayashi Yellow Cards Naoki Matsuda

Against Omiya we cannot win a game

Who, exactly, is to blame?

It is such a crying shame.

Won’t someone please ease the pain?

Colonel Bogey rears his ugly head again, folks, but at least we didn’t lose. We almost did, mind you, when Omiya’s one decent shot of the game bounced back of the post and crossbar and into Tetsuya’s hands. That was the 89th minute of thereabouts and would have been an absolute sickener.

We’re not trying to brag when we say we ran the show. Roni could have had 4 goals and Sakata came close on a couple of occassions. We just couldn’t get the ball in the net, though.

The game wasn’t inspired but we did play some lovely stuff out to the wings and the team looked they were getting even more in synch with each other. Roni was looking sharp up front and getting into some great positions and, in midfield, Hyodo had a great debut whilst Aria, wasted in defensive midfield according to his dad, looked strong and healthy. It is true that it is a shame we can’t see him pushing forward but, at the same time, it is wonderful to see that he can play anywhere in that central area with ease and composure.

Kuwahara again rotated the team and brought in Shimizu, Sakata and Hyodo in place of Komiyama, Oshima and Mizunuma. What was great about this was that it didn’t really effect the play of the team. The new players slotted in well and had no problems fitting in with the style of play. Beyond that, they all played very well.

We have to remember that we were without Koji and that will always make a big difference but the fact that we created chances was great. It was just a shame we couldn’t convert. To his credit, though, Roni was looking very good and a solid save from the keeper, a shot cleared off the line and a free-kick that just cleared the bar could all have gone in against any other team except from Bogey Ardija, the Jinx of Saitama.

Man of the Match: Roni – he didn’t score but he looked sharp and full of running. Hopefully once that first goal goes in the floodgates will open.

Yokohama F-Marinos: Tetsuya; Yuzo, Naoki, Yusuke; Shimizu, Hayuma, Aria, Lopes (Mizunuma, 70), Hyodo; Roni (Inui, 88), Sakata (Oshima, 76). Subs: Akimoto, Tashiro, Mizunuma, Inui, Mini-me, Komiyama, Oshima.

Kuwahara TakashiKuwahara: ‘It was one of those games that could have gone either way. We used the young players again today and this time I feel they certainly played for the entire game without losing focus at any point. I think todays performance has set us up well for our trip to Kashima. In the last game, I paired up Mizunuma with Aria which showed promise but this time I decided to give Hyodo Shingo a place in the starting line-up in order to familiarize him with the strict physicality of playing in the J-League as these kind of games are ideal for allowing the younger players to gain some experience. As for Hyodo’s play, well he seemed a little nervous in the first half which was to be expected but in the second half he was more tactically aware and very conscious of our defence, dropping back when necessary  and making an impact on the game overall.  I paired up Sakata with Roni up front today. There are many games scheduled for April and there is a good chance that I will use Sakata, Roni and Oshima all together in the future.
Over the past two games I have been watching Roni closely. He had 3 decisive chances which I would have liked to have seen him score so first I will evaluate his ability in finding space and assess the situation. Essentially, all we need is our strikers to score their first to open the floodgates and start them off in the right direction.
Sakata moved well on and off the ball and I am pleased with his shots on goal too.’

Hyogo ShingoHyodo Shingo: ‘At the start of the game I was extremely nervous. 15 minutes into the game Matsuda started calling out to me giving me some guidance which was a huge help in enabling me to focus. I felt that perhaps I may have held back at times during todays game as I didn’t penetrate forward as much as I could of have. I envisioned having Aria dropping back and me pushing forward and played the best I could to maintain this formation. In the second half I dropped back too much and ended up becoming part of the defence. I wish I had pushed forward more. Next time I play, I really want to show what I am capable of doing and be more attack minded.’

Hasegawa Aria JasuruHasegawa Aria Jasuru: ‘I am glad we didn’t lose today. I feel that I have brought my game up a notch since our last game. Today I played with Hyodo dropping back and myself pushing forward. We usually play like this in training and the coach instructed us to play likewise today. On the attack front, I successfully made some tight passes which I am happy about. It would have been great if we could have scored in the first half but…
In the second half we matched our opponents flow of play which may have been a little monotonous to watch. In my two games, a win and a draw certainly isn’t bad at all and I will be making a big effort to get a chance to play in the upcoming Kashima tie.”

Matsuda NaokiMatsuda Naoki: “As it was an away game Its good to have taken a point back with us. Not losing today was important. As for the younger players, I would have liked to have seen them play with a little more fire in their bellies and show what they can really do. When playing for the Marinos, standard play is not good enough. Whether Koji is with us or not we have to play hard and not be too dependent on individuals. I am confident we can straighten ourselves up in time for our game against Kashima.”

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