Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Jubilo Preview

Well after being about as pessimistic as it was possible to be ahead of the weekend game with Nagoya Grampus, the Squirrels managed to pull off what was in the circumstances a pretty sensational draw against the reigning J-League champions. Off the back of the oh-God-don't-remind-me 5-0 annihilation by Kawasaki Frontale, yet more slack defending allowed Ryota Isomura to open the score for Grampus and Omiya fans feared the worst when Josh Kennedy scored a penalty to make it 2-0 early in the second half. At that point pessimism appeared the only sensible alternative.

But coach Jun Suzuki deserves credit for having built a team with some resilience. To the delight of all Squirrels fans it was young midfielder Takuya Aoki who scrambled the ball over the line to pull Ardija back into the match, in so doing scoring his first ever goal in his 52nd first team game. With Omiya applying further pressure to Seigo Narazaki's goal it looked as if the chance to draw level had gone when Kota Ueda's late free kick rebounded off both posts - but that was to reckon without Aoki, who fired in a deserved equaliser from close range in the third minute of injury time.

Here on GGOA we've commented more than once that scoring a goal would boost the confidence of Takuya Aoki and help him to feel as if he really belongs as a member of the team. That's a theory that will be put to the test on Wednesday evening, when Omiya go to Jubilo Iwata. It seems as if he and former Jubilo man Ueda will be the only two members of Suzuki's first choice midfield on display, with Chikara Fujimoto going off injured against Grampus and Keigo Higashi still away with the Japan U22 side; Jun Kanakubo looks set to start as Ardija go for a much-needed first win in six games.



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