Sunday, May 4, 2008

Honours even in the Shizuoka derby

A packed Nihondaira Stadium. It was honours even in the Shizuoka derby, although Jubilo Iwata will be the far happier after they turned in a battling display.

The Yamaha-backed club took the lead in front of a full house of 20,330 at Nihondaira Stadium, with Japan international Yuichi Komano stroking an accurate left-foot effort beyond the diving Yohei Nishibe to hand Jubilo a deserved first half lead.

Shimizu S-Pulse responded in scrappy fashion just three minutes after the restart, with 23-year-old striker Kazuki Hara volleying home after the Jubilo defence had failed to clear a cross from Shimizu playmaker Jungo Fujimoto.

Jubilo midfielder Takahiro Kawamura picked up two yellow cards within the space of sixty seconds to receive his marching orders with twenty-five minutes remaining, however Shimizu were unable to take advantage as a lack of composure in front of goal cost them dearly. Both Fernandinho and Daisuke Ichikawa got in behind the Jubilo defence over the closing stages, only to fire high into the packed stands behind Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi's goal.

The two teams will meet again in the League Cup at Nihondaira Stadium on May 25.

In other J. League fixtures a crowd of 34,436 was on hand at Toyota Stadium, however the home fans were left disappointed as Nagoya Grampus crashed to their third straight defeat. They went down 2-1 to Gamba Osaka, for whom Bare scored twice either side of a twenty-five yard piledriver from Nagoya midfielder Yoshizumi Ogawa.

Bottom club JEF United were beaten 1-0 at home by Kashiwa Reysol in the Chiba derby, Tokyo Verdy beat Yokohama F. Marinos 3-2 in an entertaining encounter at the National Stadium, while FC Tokyo recorded an impressive 3-0 away win over Omiya Ardija.

Another seven J. League fixtures will take place on May 6, with the pick of the action seeing Jubilo Iwata host Kawasaki Frontale at Yamaha Stadium, FC Tokyo welcome an out-of-form Nagoya Grampus to Ajinomoto Stadium, while league-leading Urawa Reds host bottom club JEF United at Saitama Stadium.

Fans file out as Mount Fuji looms in the background

Copyright © Michael Tuckerman & Soccerphile.com

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