No Youtube yet unfortunately, but I’ll post this anyway.
A. Ienaga 30′ 1 – 0
1 – 1 39′ Y. Hashiuchi
1 – 2 59′ R. Hirashige
Ueslei 79′ 2 – 2
Scorers for Sanfrecce were youngsters (21 and 20 years old respectively) Hashiuchi Yuya (DF) and Hirashige Ryuichi (FW).
Hirashige is a known talent, with over thirty appearances for Sanfrecce since 2007 (most if not all as a substitute probably) and half a dozen goals.
Hashiuchi is a new name to me though, and Wikipedia claims that he has made only three previous appearances for Sanfrecce. This would be his first professional goal. It’s likely that he was given a chance in place of Makino, who is away with the Japan national team who play tomorrow in Uzbekistan. (A win for Japan will see them qualify for the 2010 World Cup.) If that is the case then it is a very good call by coach Petrović.
Although Sanfrecce are currently third in their qualification group for the quarter finals of the cup, they are only a point off second place (and qualification) with a game in hand, and after the 7-0 drubbing of Omiya, Sanfrecce have the best goal difference of any team in the competition. Most forum pundits therefore have Sanfrecce qualifying from Group A along with Urawa Red Diamonds. (Link to tables. Note that the colour coding is incorrect: the top two teams qualify, not the top four.)
I now have mixed feelings about Sanfrecce’s possibly progressing in the Nabisco Cup. Previously I was set against it since it is a big distraction for such small gain. However, if Petrović continues to use the competition as a means to blood Sanfrecce’s talented youngsters in a challenging but relatively safe environment, then I will stand square behind the effort. Really I think the competition should be restricted to U23s or something, along the same lines as the Olympics, but apparently that idea was shot down when the JFA proposed it to the J-League. So it goes.
As for Sunday’s game against Albirex Niigata, Sanfrecce are 1.62/1 to win. Albirex Niigata are a massive 6/1. Here’s hoping for eight goals this time, since I’m planning on attending this weekend.