Omiya Ardija have confirmed the details of their 2-2 friendly match draw against Thespa Kusatsu on Thursday, in a manner somewhat at odds with that of the J2 outfit. The Squirrels nevertheless report that their goals were scored by Daigo Kobayashi direct from a free kick (8') and Gral (21') following good work by Kota Yoshihara, with Thespa pulling back after half-time. Akira Ishigame hit the post with a free kick of his own late on but the game finished all square.
Toshiya Miura's line-ups will nevertheless surely be the key area of interest for fans, two completely different teams playing in each half in a straightforward 4-4-2 system. A particularly strong side started the game, with Takuro Nishimura at left back, Hayato Hashimoto filling in for Chikara Fujimoto on the left of midfield and Yoshihara and Gral up front - a combination not given an opportunity to play together in the league or the Nabisco Cup so far this year. Missing from the action altogether were keeper Hiroki Aratani - out for two weeks having picked up a back injury against FC Tokyo - Naoto Sakurai, Tatsunori Hisanaga, Yoshiyuki Kobayashi and of course long-term injury victim Fujimoto.