Saturday, 14 March 2009

Hiroshima Preview

The Squirrels continue the new season on Sunday with a tough-looking away fixture at Sanfrecce Hiroshima, a side who have roared back into Japan's top flight after having swept aside all-comers in J2 last year. Last weekend, Sanfrecce opened their J1 account by crushing Yokohama F Marinos, conceding in only the third minute but responding with four goals from four different players - underlining the fact that there is danger in all areas of Mihailo Petrovic's team, not just from international forward Hisato Sato.

The potent threat offered by Sato and his colleagues will surely stretch Omiya's defence, although encouragingly for new Ardija coach Jang Wae Ryong the key partnership between Mato Neretljak and Daisuke Tomita was one of the major plus points to come out of the goalless draw with Shimizu S-Pulse. Norwegian danger man Frode Johnsen - sorry, Agent Orange - made only a limited impact on his S-Pulse debut, kept quiet by the dominant figure of Neretljak who combined well with the experienced Tomita.

Perhaps less effective was the new-look attacking partnership of Yoshihito Fujita and Masahiko Ichikawa, who failed to find the net despite excellent scoring form in pre-season. Ichikawa later confessed to having been hampered by nerves, although Fujita was throughout the game a handful for the Shimizu back four and hit the bar from close range. Jang's faster, more direct brand of football in general seems to have been a hit with Squirrels fans, but they face a stern test on their trip to Chugoku.



SMB 15 March 2009 at 12:33  

It looks like Klemen is in the doghouse. No bench


Same except for Ishihara on for Ichikawa

The bench sees the same except Uchida is out and Aoki is in

Ichikawa is on the bench.

Furtho 15 March 2009 at 14:01  

... yawn... morning everyone.

Furtho 15 March 2009 at 14:04  

Oooh, Morita's scored for VFK. I notice that on Saturday Kota was instantly dropped to substitute for Mito.

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