2009-07-05 Sanfrecce 0-1 Jubilo Iwata
Posted by stefanole on 2009/07/09
The return of the Mak ended in disappointment for Sanfrecce against a Jubilo side who are quickly becoming their bogey team this year. After dumping them out of the Nabisco Cup, Jubilo have consigned Sanfrecce to their second straight defeat, a record only equalled at the start of the season.
The performance was not deserving of a defeat, with Sanfrecce dominating the final half an hour against Jubilo. The visitors were content to try to kill the game and were punished accordingly by the referee, mostly for persistent infringement I suspect. Jubilo made a habit of pushing players as they were heading the ball, something for which their captain for the day Komano should have conceded a penalty to Hisato early in the game, and for repeated infringements against Makino a Jubilo player was booked in the second half. The referee should have been wiser to this poor habit sooner, which was so endemic in Jubilo’s play that I can only surmise that they have been coached to do it, and as such the more alert of the J-League’s referees should already be aware of it. Komano was made the captain for the day in place of Nakayama, presumably in celebration of his heroic desertion from Sanfrecce at the end of the 2007 season after having helped us through the J2 trapdoor.
13,375 fans turned out, myself included, to see Sanfrecce rain down shots on the Jubilo goal during the second half. A rather lethargic first half from Sanfrecce was probably due to a couple of notable absences from the starting eleven, namely winger Mikic and midfield terrier Takahagi. My mood wasn’t improved by the fact that I’d managed to find a seat right next to an undercover Jubilo fan in the home section, who became less and less undercover as the match went on.
Sanfrecce did seem relatively clueless and without drive in the first half, and while Petrovic attempted to rectify the situation by bringing on Hirashige for an invisible Ri Han-Jae, his main contribution was a glower a lot, mainly at the assistant referee. Takayanagi (in for the missing Takahagi presumably) caught the eye only because he seemed to have completely lost the ability to control the ball. Osaki Junya was thrown on near the end for another cap, replacing the returning Makino in an interesting substitution: was Petrovic rewarding Makino for his national team selection, or was he trying to demonstrate that it doesn’t make him bigger than the team? Moriwaki would have been the more logical choice as a replacement, as the weak link in the defence, although it could also be that Makino’s fitness has suffered from all the bench-sitting he did for the Japanese national side. We’ll see if Stoyanov, the Bulgarian international, can help Makino keep his feet on the ground.
I did notice however that Moriwaki is beginning to make up for his defensive frailties with some “clever” play of his own. Encouraged by the referee’s non-action in the face of Jubilo’s pushing, Moriwaki contained a couple of threatening Jubilo breaks with “subtle” pushes that may have been worthy of a yellow card if the referee had been on the ball, as it were. Hopefully Moriwaki can mature (he is three months younger than me) with experience in J1 and improve his positional play and anticipation, because it looks unlikely that he will ever be a truly skillful player, and it would be unfortunate if the lax standard of refereeing in the J-League encouraged him to develop his skills for winning the ball by foul means.
Sanfrecce missed the purposeful Takahagi in midfield and the equally robust and searching runs of Mikic up the right wing, and without their movement and intelligence Stoyanov had nowhere to put his clever passes. Even Stoyanov’s free-kick taking was below par, with a shot from the edge of the box cannoning off a wall that looked like it was about eight yards back. Hisato’s finishing was not at his best either, as he blasted a one-on-one shot at the Jubilo keeper’s chest that would have quickly answered Jubilo’s opener.
Maeda scored the only goal for Iwata in the 16th minute, and Hara (the third choice keeper, promoted from the youth team only at the start of the season) made a smart save or two to keep Sanfrecce in it. There was a fractious moment in the first half however with some confusion in the defence almost allowing Jubilo in to score. Stoyanov seemed to be berating Moriwaki and Hara in equal measure, and his gestures let them know in no uncertain terms that if you are in doubt inside your penalty area, you should clear the ball upfield rather than risk a pass to the opposition.
Overall, it was a disappointing result and a disappointing performance, but in the end it was most disappointing to go home with nothing after having laid siege to the Jubilo goal for so long. Hopefully Takahagi and Mikic will make speedy returns to the team, and there was a murmur of excitement among some fans as number 1 keeper Shimoda was named among the substitutes after a lengthy absence (he hasn’t played so far this season), so watch this space.
Highlights: (Apologies for the crappy formatting, blame WordPress)
..HATTORI……………………………….. RI (MF)
…….NAKAJIMA……………… AOYAMA (DMF)
+others (should pay more attention)
J-League highlights show: