Really the main thing about this tie is that it saw us move back up to the top of the table, with Tokushima having gone down at home to the rising yellow and red force of Kita Kyushu. Apart from that, maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t really enjoy this one, probably as I was expecting another steamroller of a performance against the league minnows F.C Guffu, whom we had trounced 4-0 at home a few weeks back.
The only change FCT made was to bring back the rested and fully fit Hokuto to replace Abe, the line up now being very familiar indeed. The game started off fairly low key and even, until Tokunaga rasped home a powerful low drive from outside the box in the 17th minute, having been set up nicely by Takahashi. After that the gasmen began to stretch the home side a bit across the pitch and create a few more openings, one of which resulted in a penalty when Yazawa was tripped. It was actually a reasonably taken effort by Salada but the keeper did well down to his left to palm it away. We didn’t have to wait too long for the second though, a burst of pace and by the aforementioned leafy one left him straight through, and Yazawa was there to prod home the rebound after Cesar’s shot had been blocked by the keeper’s legs.
In the second half Tokyo looked a bit flat and Guffu started to look not quite so guff, stringing passes together and being unlucky to clip the top of the crossbar on two occasions from long range efforts. FCT were guilty of arsenaling around their penalty box on a few occasions, and it took the introduction of Ishikawa and Lucas to liven things up for us. Lucas had two carefully placed efforts go just wide, once after he had been set up by a classic Nao run up the right before he cut it back. That was about it though, and I was glad to hear the final whistle.
So back to the top of the league, an away win in the heat. We can’t win every game even against the poorer teams emphatically and it is clear that Guffu had improved since we drubbed them. It’s just that I want out of this league quick. It is rubbish. We don’t belong here. Halfway home.