This season's Nabisco Cup competition continued to peter out for the Squirrels in horrible weather in far away Kumagaya, with a horrible first half performance to match against Albirex Niigata. Coach Yasuhiro Higuchi restored to the starting line-up Masato Saito and Yosuke Kataoka in the middle of midfield and Hiroshi Morita up front - and his team were sluggish from the start, creating hardly any opportunities
Kataoka and Morita in particular were both guilty of a catalogue of errors and the Swans took the lead six minutes before the break, when Marcio Richardes converted from close range. In terms of entertainment, this was tough going even for Ardija's supporters. But as often appears to be the case the Squirrels were better in the second half. After several near misses, Omiya equalised through Morita, of all people, who headed in unmarked from six yards out.
Niigata were the more likely to grab what would have been the winner in the latter stages, but overall a draw was probably a fair result. Meanwhile Denis Marques picked up two innocuous yellow cards and a game's suspension - although the final Nabisco Cup match at Oita Trinita this weekend is hardly crucial. Pedro Junior continues to struggle with injury and also seems unlikely to feature in Kyushu.