J-league Round 10: Brosque scores for new club

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Twenty goals were scored in Round 10 of the 2011 J-League and, like always, there were numerous surprises – both new and old.

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Old surprises, you ask? I’m referring to those two sides that keep grabbing points and keep winning, making their stay up the top looking more and more permanent – or at least securing a top half finish.

The two clubs I speak of are Kashiwa Reysol and Vegalta Sendai. Five games in and the two teams sit first and third respectively, with Yokohama wedged in between and the nearest rival a couple of points off. After five matches it’d take a brave soul to predict the table will finish how it looks now, but sitting eight points above the relegation zone is a strong start to the campaign for clubs not many expect to do well.
For Kashiwa it was a 3-1 home win over the dormant Urawa Reds that see them return to their position on top. With four wins out of the five matches it’s hard to argue against those predicting the newly promoted club will continue their fairytale season. However possible it is, or isnt, perhaps a top half finish is for now a more realistic target.
Vegalta Sendai was unlucky not to claim all three points in their away trip to Osaka to face last season’s third place finishers Cerezo. Cerezo sit just above the relegation zone and would have dropped into it had substitute Rui Komatsu not nipped a 90th minute goal to level the scores at 1-1.
While Vegalta almost grabbed all three points and were unlucky to walk away with just the one, it was the opposite for second placed Yokohama F Marinos. At home to winless Avispa Fukouka, Yokohama somehow fell behind 2-0.

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They recovered and pulled off a miraculous 3-2 victory which could end Avispa’s season.

While it’s a strong early call to make, the newly promoted club are yet to register a point. A win, or even a draw, away to Yokohama would have been a massive confidence boost and could of had the ability to kick-start their season. But to lose after leading 2-0 will deflate any last hope the squad had. It will take a lot to turn around their poor start.
Interestingly, Ventforet Kufo, also in the relegation zone, took a point off fourth placed Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Like Avispa, Ventforet were on the road. And, like Avispa again, they took the lead. The difference was Ventforet managed to hang on for a 1-1 draw and an important point.
Featured match:
Nagoya Grampus 1 (Keiji Tamaka 8’) – 1 (Alex Brosque 18’) Shimizu S-Pulse
Nagoya Grampus:
1. Seigo Narazaki (GK)
3. Mitsuru Chiyotanda
5. Takahiro Masukawa
7. Naoshi Nakamura
8. Jungo Fujimoto
10. Yoshizumi Ogawa
11. Keiji Tamada
18. Kensuke Nagai
32. Hayuma Tanaka
34. Makito Yoshida
38. Alessandro Santos
Shimizu S-Pulse
1. Kaito Yamamoto (GK)
4. Kosuke Ota
5. Keisuke Iwashita
7. Masaki Yamamoto
8. Takuma Edamura
11. Genki Omae
13. Toshiyuki Takagi
14. Sho Ito
15. Shinji Tsujio
17. Eddy Bosnar
30. Alex Brosque
Alex Brosque scored his first goal for his new club in this fairly slow tempo affair.
It was great to see the ex A-League striker score and play so well against the reigning J-League Champions. Alex, as he’s known in Japan, played in a central role behind the lone striker and displayed his pace and ball control on numerous occasions. He almost won the game for S-Pulse when he struck the post in the second half.
Nagoya was without Josh Kennedy, out through injury, and evidently struggled. They lacked a clear target man up front to hold possession and fight off defenders. They also struggled to play narrow when around halfway without Kennedy and Nagoya lost a lot of possession because of this. It’s worth crediting another Australian, Eddy Bosnar, who was part of the reason Nagoya struggled through the central zones as he had a good game in the heart of the S-Pulse defence.
Because they couldn’t rely on Kennedy to hold the ball up for oncoming runners, Nagoya tried to play with more possession and attack with more width. It wasn’t too bad and Kensuke Nagai offered a different kind of threat for Nagoya up front with his pace and skill. This was displayed when Nagoya worked the ball around before playing a delicate pass to Nagai.

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Nagoya scored their goal through Nagai’s alertness and quick-thinking. The forward latched onto a 50/50 ball and used his speed and skill to break down the wing. His cross found Tamaka who easily headed home. Nagai continued to threaten the defence and had numerous chances. It wasn’t always regular though as Nagoya tried to adapt their play without Kennedy.
S-Pulse also tried to keep the ball but didn’t look to go backwards – this was the key difference. They kept pushing on into the box as much as possible, and spread it wide in the final third to create space. The goal came from space in the box, but only after Seigo Narazaki horribly shanked an attempted clearance from a back-pass. The ball fell to a wide-player and his shot was saved. But the rebound fell to Alex who was one of many players lurking in and around the area for the loose ball.
It was their ploy for most of the match as they tried to get as many players into the area as possible.
10. Kawasaki Frontale – 6pts
11. Nagoya Grampus – 5pts
12. Shimizu S-Pulse – 5pts
13. Kashima Antlers – 4pts
Full Results:
Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1 – 1 Ventforet Kofu
Vissel Kobe 1 – 0 Kawasaki Frontale
Júbilo Iwata 4 – 0 Montedio Yamagata
Yokohama F. Marinos 3 – 2 Avispa Fukuoka
Omiya Ardija 0 – 0 Albirex Niigata
Nagoya Grampus 1 – 1 Shimizu S-Pulse
Kashiwa Reysol 3 – 1 Urawa Reds
Cerezo Osaka 1 – 1 Vegalta Sendai
*Kashima Antlers v Gamba Osaka to be played on Wednesday 11th May.

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