Today’s post could also be called “Get the hell back here ASAP Koji because without you it appears that we might be following our city rivals into the bowels of J2 hell.”
Alright, so maybe I am exagerrating a little but the unconvincing pre-season form has finally caught up with us and a 2-0 loss to Montedio coupled with a narrow 2-1 win over Sony Sendai do not bode so well when your first game is against Champions of the Known and Unknown Universe, Urawa ‘Bottled For Your Pleasure’ Reds.
Luckily for us, Koji is back and on fire. Last weekend saw him score his second goal of the East Asian Comedy Championships, his 5th goal in 7 caps. And what a beauty it was, too.
As we were saying, whilst Koji was off narrowly avoiding being physically assaulted in China, the Marinos were busy performing worse than a North Korean official down at Marinos town.
First up was the 2-0 loss to Montedio. Played in 3 periods of 45 minutes the score was 0-0 0-0 0-2 and the teams were:
Starting XI: Tetsuya, Komiyama, Tashiro, Kurihara, Hayuma, Shimizu, Hyodo, Naoki, Mini Yamase, Oshima, Roni.
2nd Period Changes: Sakata – Roni, Inui – Shimizu, Lopes – Hyodo.
3rd Period Starting XI: Takakuwa, Kanai, Umei, Ogura, Urata, Inui, Aria, Furube, Mizunuma, Sakata, Saito.
3rd Period Changes: Ishihara – Sakata (Furube pushed up front with Ishihara into midfield).
The next day was the 2-1 win over Sony. Again the game was played in 3 periods of 45 minutes and the score was 0-0, 1-1, 1-0. Goals by Naoki (86) and Yamamoto (128) came after Sony had taken the lead in the 49th minute. The teams were:
Starting XI: Akimoto, Komiyama, Tashiro, Kanai, Hyodo, Naoki, Aria, Hayuma, Lopes, Sakata, Roni.
Second Period Starting XI: Akimoto, Umei, Tashiro, Urata, Shimizu, Ogura, Aria, Mini Yamase, Mizunuma, Oshima, Sakata.
Second Period Changes: Inui – Tashiro (Ogura into defence), Iikura – Akimoto.
Third Period Staring XI: Iikura, Kanai, Umei, Urata, Inui, Mizunuma, Ogura, Ishihara, Yamamoto, Saito, Furube.
Able to take all that information in? One thing to note is that Kuwahara is definitely looking at all his options. He changed from 4-42 against Montedio to 3-5-2 against Sony. He is rotating players a lot and giving everyone a chance even those players who are highly unlikely to get anywhere near the bench this season.
It’s not all doom and gloom, that’s for sure. Roni is still settling in and Lopes is just coming back from injury so we can’t expect wonders from them right now. This combined with the fact that our two best players have been away has to be considered.
Other things to take into consideration when looking at the results is the absence of Kawai and the fact that Naoki has been popping up in midfield from time to time. That is never a good thing! MOIST have no news on Kawai’s whereabouts but will endeavour to find out.
Finally, apologies that this update is a little late. There was a tearful MOIST re-union last weekend in Seoul. MOIST + MOIST + Hite + Cass + OB does not equal blog.