After a stirring buildup, and with an impressive 35,911 spectators on hand, Tokyo Derby XIV ended up being another exercise in frustration for FC Tokyo, as we were again held by our co-tenants in a game we controlled for large parts but couldn't kill off. Despite having a 15-5 advantage in shots, we couldn't really argue the result, as The Spews were impressive in stretches themselves, and did well to stifle us as we pushed for a winner.
Straight afterwards, Tokyo Bairn and I were joined out on the back stairs by two special guests, Lewis (@NobuyukiTosey on twitter) Tosey and Steve (@AgentOrange2009) Barme, to discuss the game (although we didn't do that in great detail to be honest) and other J.League topics, including the J1 title race. TB was a bit grumpy after our fourth-straight unconvincing performance, and a little girl standing nearby clearly noticed, as she came over and gave us all a chocolate to try and brighten our mood. It didn't work, though she deserves great credit for trying!
You can listen on the player below or download for yourself by clicking on the Gas Talk logo to the right, and for you iTunes'ers please be patient, we hope to have it up tonight.
Enjoy. If you can be bothered reading a brief Match Report, it follows below...
J2 Matchday 33
The game itself saw chances at either end in an entertaining first twenty minutes, with the visitors putting us under pressure at times. We grew into the game and took the lead just before half time thanks to Lucas, who got in between two defenders to head in Sotan Tanabe's excellent floated cross from the left.
We were never convincing though, and green half time substitute Hiroki Kawano set about changing the game, buzzing around the midfield in a floating role. Then 16 minutes into the second half they drew level, after Kawano's corner was inadvertently deflected into his own net by Masato Morishige, who had tracked Yukio Tsuchiya across the front of goal.
In the 71st minute Naohiro Ishikawa (like clockwork, on for Tanabe after 65 mins) took a short corner to Naotake Hanyu, and when Roswell crossed, green subsitute Maranhao stuck out his arm and the ball deflected out for another corner...EVEN THOUGH THE LINESMAN WAS LOOKING RIGHT AT IT AND SHOULD'VE FLAGGED FOR A PENALTY! Don't believe me, click here and skip to 36 seconds in... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-mM8WqXacU
Anyway, wasn't given, we still had 20 minutes to grab a winner but it never looked like coming, and then the game ended disastrously, with Hideto Takahashi and Yohei Kajiyama both picking up their fourth yellow cards of the season in stoppage time. Thats them suspended for Shonan away next Sunday, while we may also be without Yasuyuki Konno and Shuichi Gonda, depending on when the national team will start preparing for World Cup qualifiers against Tajikistan and North Korea on November 11 & 15.
The point saw our Magic Number drop to 9, but Sapporo and Tokushima both claimed vital wins (with Tokushima almost certainly ending Chiba's promotion hopes) to keep the pressure on, before FC Gifu kept us four points clear at the top with a stunning performance in the late kickoff yesterday, drawing 4-4 with Tosu.
Five games left. Three wins will see us promoted. Hurry up and get 'em Gasmen!!!