2017/4/22 Sagan Tosu 1-0 Vissel Kobe
Sagan Tosu 1-0 Vissel Kobe
This reporter had no words when Sagan Tosu managed to come out of this game with three points. Days later, as the fingers go to the keys to type a report there is still disbelief. A team that can strategically foul at the "right time", or just blatantly foul opponents and end the game with 11 men on the field, a single yellow card to show, and all three points makes the average fan wonder out loud at so many things!
While it must be said that this report is being written through crimson-tinted sunglasses, purchased from Rakuten, this result still rankles, the referee's leniency still asks for belief to be suspended, the luck of the home goal can't be like that every week, can it!?
The game could probably have been summed up as early as the 5th minute when Kazuma Watanabe had the 'keeper scrambling to make the save, Kotaro Omori's follow-up was blocked and then Seigo Kobayashi hit the bar with the third attempt - from about three metres out! The latter's blushes may well have been saved by the offside flag, but it also showed how the game would continue!
The only goal of the game came from a break that replays seemed to show was (granted, only inches) offside. A great one-on-one save by Seung Gyu Kim in the Vissel goal was then followed up with a mis-kick that trickled over the line to give the home team the goal, and the win!
This report could now be a list of the chances Vissel Kobe players had - from all over the field - to score. Add to that a list of the fouls that the referee was just too lenient with and... well, this could get boring. We'll just note that, with the away team going for goals, Sagan Tosu almost doubled their lead in the 90th minute. What an injustice that would have been!
23 free kicks for fouls committed by Tosu players, twice as many corners for Vissel, twice as many goal attempts, probably twice as much possession, but brawn triumphed over brains, luck triumphed over skill, but only one of these teams will be challenging for glory as the season nears its end. Rant over!
Team - Kim, S.Takahashi, Kitamoto (Inoha, 90+4), H.Watanabe, Hashimoto (J.Tanaka, 72), Nilton, H.Takahashi, Matsuhita, Omori, K.Watanabe, Kobayashi (Wescley, 59)