Sunday's Saitama Derby clash at Omiya Park proved to be yet another Squirrels game ruined by the weather. On this occasion, there was a delay of around an hour as the players left the field fifteen minutes after kick-off to protect their safety from the lightning strikes. It isn't clear if the disruption or the weather contributed more to Omiya's poor display, but one thing is for sure: Yasuhiro Higuchi's team didn't play well and were deservedly beaten by their title-challenging rivals.
With Leandro out due to suspension and Yoshiyuki Kobayashi still injured, Ardija handed Urawa the lion's share of possession in the first half. Indeed, Reds had several opportunities to score before Naohiro Takahara rounded Koji Ezumi and stroked the ball past Daisuke Tomita on the line. The home side's best chance in the opening period fell to Denis Marques, who placed a right foot effort past Ryota Tsuzuki's right-hand post after a solo run.
The Squirrels were marginally better in the second half, but created precious few opportunities as Urawa seemed to be content to soak up a series of notably unthreatening attacks. Despite his encouraging record in front of goal Klemen Lavric didn't play well, although the big forward did succeed in upsetting both Takahito Soma and Robson Ponte - the former refused to shake hands after a late tackle and the latter stared him out following a clumsy challenge.
There were a few long-range efforts from substitute Tomoya Uchida preceded by a long-range Daigo Kobayashi free kick that troubled Tsuzuki a little. Tomita had a glancing header in the last few minutes that caused a few flutters in the Urawa defence, but Omiya ended up with nothing - a suitable return for a poor performance.