“Frustrating opening game”, against Kashima  

Here are the game report of the J.League opening game against Kashima Antlers and comments from the players.

Reds had their first game of the 2010 season against Kashima Antlers at Kashima Stadium in the rain.
Reds’ supporters were seated at the back of the Reds’ goal and were cheering the players even before the players made their appearances to the pitch. The cheers echoed in the indoor stadium.

Abe, game captain, led the team and the players came out on to the pitch. At 4:04 pm, the game started with Reds’ kick-off.
For about 50 seconds from the start, Reds had a free kick on the left flank. Ponte created a chance by crossing with his right leg towards goal which Hosogai read and met with a header. Unfortunately, Hosogai’s header was off target. This first chance was the best chance we had in the first half. On the 5th minute, Antlers had a great chance and scored the first goal. Koroki came to the near side and stretched his leg to push the ball in.
After Antlers scored the first goal, Reds went on offensive but could not find the net. On the contrary, Reds had difficulties coping with the Antlers’ speedy counterattacks. On the 23rd minute, Kashiwagi took a shot with his left leg but his attempt was blocked by the goalkeeper. Other than that, Reds were not able to create many chances and finished the first half 1 goal down.

In the second half, Reds continued to start the attack from the flanks. On the 68th minute, Tatsuya replaced Hosogai and put more pressure on the opponent. Reds moved a lot in the opponent area while exchanging many short passes. On the 73rd minute, Tatsuya took a shot from outside the penalty box in front of the goal after receiving the ball from Edmilson but it was stopped by the goalkeeper.

After 80 minutes passed, Reds’ pace slowed due to fatigue. Reds could not pick up the loose balls nor keep up with Antlers’ slow passing. Slowly, Red’s defenders started not to defend well. Nevertheless, Reds kept trying to find the equalizer and sent Haraguchi on for Tsuboi in the 83rd minute. However, Marquinhos headed in a cross from right side on the 86th minute to give Kashima a 2 goal lead.

Ugajin who was making his debut in the J.League with this game sent a cross in from the left and Edmilson tried to head in the ball but it went straight to the goalkeeper. Including the 3 minute added time, Reds never gave up and kept trying to score. Unfortunately, Reds could not find the net and the game finished 2-0 to Kashima Antlers.

The Reds supporters who were at the back of the goal gave the players warm and loud cheers to fire up the team showing their high expectation in the next game.
The next game will be our first home game in the 2010 season. Reds will face FC Tokyo in the game which will be held at Saitama Stadium at 2 pm on 14th March.

Yuki Abe
“A loss is a loss. We knew that they would be our great threats when their strikers have possession of the ball. We knew their style like quick throw-in and coming in from the blind side. It was regrettable that we could not play well today.
Although everyone around us would say that this is just the first game of the league, I think we need to have a sense of urgency. We have to watch today’s game on TV and discuss what went wrong among players. We have to learn from this mistake and work hard for the next game.”