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Sanfrecce 1-0 Urawa Red Diamonds report

Posted by stefanole on 2009/03/26

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Makino salutes Sato after his goal

サンフレッチェ広島 1-0 浦和レッドダイヤモンズ
@広島ビッグアーチ、10,275人

Goals: Sato Hisato 27′

Formation 3-4-2-1:
Sato (FW)
Takayanagi, Kashiwagi
Hattori, Kazu, Aoyama, Mikić
Makino, Nakajima, Moriwaki
Sato (GK)

A cold evening at the Big Arch. Sanfrecce had never beaten the Red Diamonds before this victory in ten years of trying. 10,275 fans turned out to see a little piece of history.

The Urawa support was of a very good number, probably the most I’ve ever seen at the Big Arch, and by far the loudest and best organised.

Nakajima came in for Stoyanov in the centre of defence, as the latter is away on international duty with Bulgaria. Takayanagi came in for Takahagi in midfield.

The game had a fairly high tempo from the off, with Urawa blazing wide an early free kick, and Kashiwagi doing the same in the tenth minute after Sato Hisato (I think) earned a free kick with a forward run. Sato was easily the most-fouled player in this game as the flat-footed Urawa lads had a lot of trouble keeping him at bay. Mikić was another livewire, continuing the hard work he put in up (and down) the right wing against Omiya.

Sanfrecce had a very fair shout for a penalty in the twelfth minute after Takayanagi split the defenders and was bundled over in the box, but the referee decided that no offense had been committed and gave a goal kick.

Sato Hisato was hacked down again half a minute later in the Urawa half by Horinouchi, with the referee deciding only to lecture the player (and spoil a Sanfrecce quick free kick in the process – A FIFA-listed referee should know better than to hold play back unless he is issuing a card). The pressure was kept up with Makino’s header going over.

Kashiwagi, Takayanagi and Sato were each providing a compelling attacking force as Sanfrecce enjoyed most of the attacks, capped in the 27th minute by a movement which saw Sato played in by Aoyama outside the box. An awkward bouncing ball was well controlled by Sato and powered into the back of the net by the “Real Striker”.

This gave Urawa a kick up the arse, and they began to press their case more urgently. Sanfrecce did not take it lightly though, and Urawa’s Tsuboi was booked in the 36th minute for the third hack of Sato Hisato. The referee immediately disappeared from my lens, surrounded by irate Urawa players in something reminiscent of Manchester United’s antics, although not as coordinated or aggressive.

Urawa keeper Yamagishi had to punch to clear from a lurking Makino from a corner in the 40th minute.

Urawa had a penalty shout of their own in the 55th minute as Mikić and a Urawa forward (Takahara?) emerged from a crowd and both tumbled in the box. The contact seemed fair however, and the referee did not intervene.

There was a little light relief in the 59th minute as Mikić took one in the knackers from somewhere. Edmilson of Urawa used the opportunity to try to bend the ear of the referee, to no effect judging from the body language.

The pressure from Urawa increased after the hour, with Urawa winning more free kicks and pushing forward. A shot from Ponte squeezed just wide in the 74th minute. The strain on the Red Diamonds was beginning to show though, first with captain Yamada being unable to resist having a bit of afters with Mikić and then with another Urawa player being booked for hacking Sato down on the halfway line. Urawa made the anti-Sato foul count five (or six or seven) in the 88th minute with a foul in the corner.

Urawa won a very fortunate-looking free kick on the 89th minute which passed out for a corner. The play going into stoppage time was almost constant Urawa pressure, which wasn’t helped by the referee’s awarding Urawa a free kick against Makino, who won the ball cleanly in the first tackle and was then laid out by an Urawa player. I can only surmise that the referee thought the first tackle was unfair and brought back play for the free kick, but we can clearly see that he was mistaken. But it didn’t matter in the end as the referee blew for full time.

I will update this post after I have posted my Flickr set.

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