I wish to God you hadn’t scored that goal, Fernandinho
It was very much a case of back to the J-League and back to a poor performances and a poor result for Omiya Ardija against Shimizu S-Pulse at Komaba on Saturday. The Squirrels didn't deserve anything from this game and indeed the first half performance verged on humiliating, as Jungo Fujimoto and particularly Fernandinho were allowed to play the home side off the park.
The S-Pulse goals came through midfielder Takuma Edamura and former Gamba Osaka star Fernandinho within the last fifteen minutes of the first period. But coach Kenta Hasegawa deserves broader credit for having put together a very well-organised passing side who on this occasion cut Ardija to ribbons time and time again.
There was slightly more to cheer after the interval for the beleaguered Squirrels supporters, as the men in orange were more forward-oriented - although then again, it would have been virtually impossible to have been as bad as Omiya were in that disastrous first 45 minutes. Robert Verbeek, denied the chance to field Daigo Kobayashi as a result of the injury sustained during the defeat of Yokohama F Marinos, obviously understood the gravity of the situation and brought on Hiroshi Morita, Enilton and newcomer Salles in a triple substitution with thirty minutes remaining.
Salles showed some good touches for the few minutes that he was on the pitch, but then was red-carded for a two-footed challenge - a harsh decision in that the former Atlanta Silverbacks seemed clearly to be going for the ball. But after a debut cut as short as eight minutes, Salles could be seen punching the side of the dugout on the way back to the dressing room.
Amazingly, Hiroshi Morita gets a goal for the Squirrels
Following the sending-off, Enilton had the ball in the net but was correctly given as offside, and with just a few minutes remaining substitute Morita smashed home an Omiya consolation after collecting his own rebounded shot off the post. At least Morita looked like he cared when he came on and caused a few problems for the visiting defence with his awkward style.
All in all, then, a scoreline that carries some air of respectablity - but this was far from being a respectable performance. Robert Verbeek's team were clearly second best overall and only scored when S-Pulse took their foot off the pedal. This is an Omiya team that doesn't create enough, score enough or have any organisation in defence. Zero points from four games and furthermore it is easy see that statisticrising to zero from six, with Kashima Antlers away and high-flying Nagoya Grampus 8 to come. Gloomy days.