Wednesday, 29 April 2009

One Man Can Make A Difference

Unfortunately for Omiya, that man was today's official, Mr Okada, who with his two minions of terr... uh, error combined to guarantee that Montedio Yamagata would come away with victory.

Case in point.

1. First minute in, Tatsuya Furuhashi sets up offside on a throw-in. Makes no attempt to get on-side and sets up Yu Hasegawa for the first score. Bad defending on the play and nobody marks Hasegawa, but it should have never happened. Unless you can set up offside and receive the ball on a throw in in the offside position. Which could possibly be legal.

2. Omiya has a goal reversed on a phantom offside call / foul call near the end of the half. Possible momentum squashed.

3. Omiya has a second goal pulled off the board when Daisuke Tomita goes straight up for a ball and knocks it out of the hands of Yamagata keeper Kenta Shimizu, who catches it a split-second before going up over Tomita's back. Shimizu did not have position on the play and could have punched it out, but Okada chose to whistle the play dead after Naoki Ishihara kicked the ball in.

This play would not bother me so much if not for the second goal for Montedio, where Hasegawa kicked the ball and the head of a sprawling Koji Ezumi, who had hands on the ball but no control. I do not have a problem with the goal - both players were going for it. To call for keeper protection in one instance and let play go on in another, arguably more dangerous position, is what pissed me off about this call.

4. Okada put his mark on the game when a Montedio player tried to kill the ball in the corner, knocked down Chikara Fujimoto, drove a much smaller Tomoya Uchida into the penalty area and fell in the box. If you were going to call a foul, either, (a) call it on the Yamagata player who had a handful of Uchida and used it to an unfair advantage, or, (b) call the foul on Uchida at the spot of the foul... near the corner flag. Do not let it go into the worst position possible for one team and then call it.

The sad thing about this is, Yamagata played a very disciplined game and probably would have got a result whatever the referee's performance. They had two great saves on headers by Ishihara and Yoshihito Fujita and disrupted Omiya with physical play and persistent fouling. They knew what they wanted to do and did it.

Game Notes

1. Denis Marques and Chikara Fujimoto do not fit the system. The most consistent attacks on the day were down the wings and both fantasistas eschewed this to play to Montedio's strengths and try to take two or three players off the dribble.

2. Park Won Jae is not a defender. He is a midfielder. He was out of position and burned time and again on plays down the wing. At the other end, he did give Montedio fits down the wing.

3. Yoshiyuki Kobayashi cannot play without a more active defensive midfield player next to him. Yosuke Kataoka was very passive and did not come up to pressure like Shin Kanazawa does on a consistent basis. This exposed Tomita and Mato Neretljak on numerous occasions.

4. Koji Ezumi is not a superhuman and the defense is suffering for it. Which is unfair to him.

5. Taishi Tsukamoto, Uchida, Daisuke Watabe and Fujita all played relatively well today, after having bad previous stints. It was a bold move to take out Tomita for Fujita and it almost paid off.

6. I am not sure Jang Wae Ryong knows this team yet. I think he likes Kanazawa, Mato and Ishihara; I am not sure how he feels about the rest of the team.

Three Stars

1. Taishi Tsukamoto - His kicks led to two, ahem, goals. He was the only one who played well in the back.

2. Hato and Kanazawa - They were missed today. Hato is a better option than Park and Yusuke Murayama at the moment. I will admit that.

3. The fans - 13,010. We are on our way to 300,000... if we stop playing like this.

Orange! AAAAAAAARGHHHH! Football!



Johan 30 April 2009 at 16:51  


I am keen follower of the J-League, and I really like your blog.

It must hurt to lose to Montedio and I agree with you that the referee was a bit unkind to Ardija, but you are unfortunately wrong about the first goal. A player can not be offside off a throw in. This is the only time in the game when the offside rule doesn't apply, so Furuhashi was not breaking any rules when he moved into an 'offside position' as it was a throw-in.

Don't know if that makes it better or worse :)


Furtho 30 April 2009 at 17:38  

It was an Agent Orange piece, so it doesn't make any difference to me personally :-) but thanks for the comment, Johan, and welcome.

Johan 30 April 2009 at 17:40  

Sorry, it had your name on it. Anyway, what is up with Omiya? How much of it do you think is down to Ichikawa being injured?


Anonymous,  30 April 2009 at 20:57  

In my defense, I did add the caveat that it could be legal.


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