The Squirrels continued their pre-season preparations with a third training match on Monday, the second against top Korean side Incheon United. While the previous encounter may have gone the way of the K-Leaguers thanks to an early own goal, this time it was Omiya who came out on top in a physical encounter that was brought to a conclusion five minutes early by the referee, following a string of bad fouls by Incheon players.
Ardija fielded Enilton and Daigo Kobayashi up front together for the first time and the new-look team took the lead on 26 minutes, when Yusuke Shimada's left-wing cross was met by Manabu Wakabayashi, whose header was converted by the lurking Alison. The scoring was completed with six minutes remaining, Enilton receiving a throw-in on the right to feed Chikara Fujimoto and partner Hayato Hashimoto then finished the move with a right-foot shot.
Later, coach Robert Verbeek remarked that, "We didn't get that many chances to attack, but our organisation was good and the team are continuing to improve. It was an encouraging start by Daigo and Enilton, but there needs to be an improvement to their communication and how we support Enilton. It was a very tough game."
This latter point seems to have been something of an understatement, as Seiichiro Okuno, Yoshiyuki Kobayashi and Yosuke Kataoka all picked up injuries as a result of challenges. Furthermore, the role of Daigo in this team will almost certainly be different from that of 2006 and in order for this to function successfully it is clear that an amount of work will be required for all the players to be comfortable with Verbeek's system.