Unfortunately, I have some bad news for you readers this week. The J-League is officially on a summer break for the World Cup and won’t be back until the middle of July. However, don’t start crying yet as I have some good news and that is the fact you have one final weekend game review from myself to read.
Now just like I did with my cup review last week, I will be extensively reviewing three games and then mentioning the other games from around the league, just to save you time whilst reading the whole thing. Shall we get to it?
Game 1: Vissel Kobe 4-0 Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo
If my memory serves me correctly I actually chose this game as one of the games to look out for over the weekend and surprisingly I was right. Both teams are fighting near the top of the table and I was expecting it to be a closely fought affair, I never predicted this especially with the fact that Podolski hasn’t been in the squad for the past few games now.
To be perfectly honest with you, Kobe actually looked much better without Podolski as some of their other talents shone through. One of those talents was Wellington who opened the scoring after nine minutes, he then added a second for himself and the team on twenty-three minutes. After this second goal went in, Hokkaido completely fell apart and it seemed they were just waiting for the final whistle to go. However, the half time whistle went and they still had forty-five minutes to go through in this match.
Wellington decided to take a step back in the second half and allow his teammate, Kazuma Watanabe, to get in on the action. Watanabe scored his first, and Kobe’s third, on fifty-five minutes and Wellington managed to get the assist. Watanabe added his second of the game and ended the game on eighty-seven minutes, with Wellington recording his second assist of the game. Kobe held on and won 4-0 which now moves them closer to the top three positions.
Game 2: Yokohama F. Marinos 5-2 V-Varen Nagasaki
Yes, you did just read that right, two of the worst sides in the league this season actually competed in a seven-goal thriller and don’t say I didn’t warn you. I didn’t pick this game specifically but I have always said these games at the bottom can be more entertaining than the clashes at the top and this is just another example.
Surprisingly it was Nagasaki who opened up the scoring thanks to a Juanma Delgado strike on thirteen minutes. Nagasaki’s lead didn’t last long though as they conceded on twenty-one minutes after Yuki Otsu converted a spot kick. 1-1 was the scoreline at halftime and no-one expected Yokohama to do what they did in the second half.
Nagasaki, however, took the lead again on forty-seven minutes thanks to a Keita Nakamura strike. Yokohama took charge of the game from this moment and managed to score four goals in twenty-two minutes. Teruhito Nakagawa scored two, Takahiro Ogihara got the forth and then Milos Degenek finished the thrashing off on eighty-two minutes.
The win takes Yokohama to thirteenth in the league with a two-point gap between them and the bottom three. Nagasaki fall to fifteenth in the league, a single spot above the bottom three.
Game 3: Sanfrecce Hiroshima 0-2 Cerezo Osaka
Now, you may be surprised to see this game being amongst the best of the weekend action and to be perfectly honest with you, it really shouldn’t be for the entertainment factor. However, this defeat for Hiroshima is a massive thing for the J-League as it means their ten-point gap has been cut down. Funnily enough, this was also a game I chose as an important game last week in my preview, (Hiroshima Face Cerezo And Gamba Face Urawa As The J-League Wraps Up), another thing I was right about.
The game overall was pretty boring and it still shocks me that a team managed to score twice in this game. We had to wait eighty minutes before someone hit the net, specifically it was Toshiyuki Takagi who found the first goal. He doubled his teams and his owns tally three minutes later, resulting in Cerezo coming out as 2-0 winners.
Hiroshima’s ten-point gap has now been cut to nine points, although this is still an impressive gap. Cerezo now sit in fourth place, a single point behind third-place Kawasaki.
Rest Of The League
Obviously, there were more than three games played over the weekend, however, none of them were as entertaining as the ones I have already mentioned. There were two 0-0 draws over the weekend, the first being in the game between Gamba Osaka and Urawa and the second being between Sagan Tosu and FC Tokyo.
There was a cracking 3-2 scoreline between Kashiwa and Nagoya, with Kashiwa coming out as victors and Nagoya slipping even further behind in last place. Kawasaki came out with a comfortable 3-0 win against Shimizu S-Pulse and with the win, cut the gap between them and Hiroshima to ten points.
Elsewhere, Jubilo Iwata fell to a 1-0 defeat away to Shonan with Ryunosuke Noda getting the only goal on seventy-one minutes and finally, Vegalta beat Kashima 2-1 thanks to goals from Naoki Ishihara and Ko Itakura.
That is that for the J-League now until mid-July. Thank you to everyone who had suffered through my poor coverage of the league so far. Hopefully, we will find Podolski after the Summer break and finally find out if Iniesta is actually joining him at Vissel Kobe. Until next time!
Now you have finished this piece, go and read up on some fantastic football over in Thailand: (League leaders continue dominance but a major shock in Thailand)