A draw was always going to be the most likely result between two sides sitting just a point apart in mid-table and that was exactly what happened. A 1-1 draw resulting from two first half goals meant both sides held their positions in 9th and 10th.
The big team news for Fujieda were the changes in defence. Captain Shinji Tominari returned to the heart of the defence after three weeks out, replacing Ryuji Mochizuki. Player/manager Toshihide Saito also dropped out the squad completely but what was more surprising was his replacement at the back – Shogo Fujimaki. The striker was the man chosen to play in defence, presumably for his aerial ability.
Elsewhere, the starting XI was unchanged with Alan and Kerlon on the bench, both edging closer to the starting lineup again.
The numerous changes in defence seemed to have upset the balance for the home side and after just 15 minutes, they went behind. A seemingly harmful punt up field by Tokuya Yoshikawa was not dealt by either Fujimaki or Tominari leaving Shohei Kiyohara to pounce for his fourth of the season. You can watch a video of Kiyohara’s goal here.
However, Saito got the response he would have been looking for instantly when MYFC equalised just three minutes later. Quick passing play broke through Kanazawa’s defence allowing Ken Hisatomi to go through one on one down the left and he made no mistake in scoring his second of the season.
At half time, Kerlon was brought on for Yuta Murase as the home side looked for the three points. They continued to push with Oha coming in the 77th minute for Takahisa Nishiyama but it was too late. Although, there was time for Yuhei Otsuki to pick up a second yellow for Kanazawa in the 92nd minute resulting in him being sent off.
Fujieda MYFC (4-2-3-1) – Murao; Fujimaki, Sato, Tominari, Nakatsuru; Narabayashi (Okada 67′), Ishii, Hisatomi, Murase (Kerlon HT), Okuda; Nishiyama (Oha 77′)
Zweigen Kanazawa (3-4-3) – Ohashi; Yoshikawa, Komiyama, Izutsu; Awatari, Takigawa (Choi 57′), Ochi, Otsuki; Kiyohara, Sugawara (Makino 84′), Y. Saito (Ishidata 74′)
Final score: Fujieda MYFC 1-1 Zweigen Kanazawa
Scorers: Kiyohara 15′, Hisatomi 18′
Next game: Saturday 8th June 1pm (5am UK time) – Blaublitz Akita (away)
A draw is not the worse result against a side which has J League associate membership. Good to see Tominari back but would be good to see Saito back in the lineup as Fujimaki looked unsure in an unfamiliar role. Kerlon played a whole half, which is the most he’s played since he’s returned so that is a good sign.
Barry Valder was at the game and helped me with the goals, he can be found on Twitter @SPulseUKUltras.