Saturday, 15 May 2010

Hiroshima Preview

A quick preview for the last J1 match before the World Cup break, which sees Sanfrecce Hiroshima visit Omiya Park on Sunday. The big news as far as Ardija fans are concerned is that Rafael looks set to start for the first time since the opening day of the season - for subsequent to that 3-0 drubbing of Cerezo Osaka, it has become very clear how much Omiya miss the Brazilian when he is unavailable. The partnership with top scorer Naoki Ishihara without doubt looks like the Squirrels' most productive route to goal, for one thing, but Rafa's link-up play with midfield is simply not replicated anywhere else in the squad.

Following Saturday's 2-2 draw for Kyoto Sanga at Yokohama F Marinos, Ardija will kick off against Sanfrecce rock bottom in the standings and it goes without saying that a win will be much needed both in terms of immediate points on the board and as a psychological boost ahead of the two-month pause in the fixture list. No team will want to have cause to dwell for a period of eight weeks on the fact that they are dead last in the league. But the bigger picture is that Omiya have given incoming coach Jun Suzuki plenty of time to improve things and so there is a sense of optimism in the air for the latter part of the campaign.

Suzuki of course began his reign at Ardija with a scrappy yet crucial defeat of Kyoto, which was followed by a loss to a penalty kick in a poor game at Montedio Yamagata. Coming on as a second half substitute, Rafael got in a couple of decent shots but overall it was a toothless display from the Squirrels. While Hisato Sato will no doubt provide a significant threat at the other end, Omiya supporters will hope that the Hiroshima defence struggles to contain Rafa and Ishihara. And hey, wouldn't a goal to end this part of the season be nice for rookie winger Jun Kanakubo? Not that we're greedy or anything.



  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP