July 16, 2017
Stop to the winning stint of Tokushima Vortis after the draw against Kyoto Sanga. The Blues thus broke a spectacular series of four wins in a row that had brought them back to the top of the Japan League 2 standings. After this home tie, Tokushima Vortis now occupies the fourth place with 40 points. One point behind Varen Nagasaki, third. Meanwhile, the first two spots that give direct access to Japan League remain the property of Avispa Fukuoka (46 points) and Shonan Bellmare (47).
Tokushima Vortis never found themselves comfortable against Kyoto Sanga, a rival that surprised despite being in the lower part of the table. The visiting team enjoyed the first clear chance of the match, in an action saved by Hasegawa with his feet. The second opportunity also went to the visiting team, with a poisoned header by Kevin Oris against which Hasegawa had to react to send the ball to the corner. The match was played at a slow pace, with the players suffering from the heat, 29 degrees, and humidity, 67%. This made the first half end with no more chances on goal for neither of the teams.
Tokushima Vortis reacted in the second half, in which they activated their game in the wings. From the right side came a crossing to the box by Mawatari, which Watari sent to the post. An action that the forward of Tokushima Vortis does not usually miss, but this time he tried to adjust the kick too much and found the post. Those were the best moments of the locals, who found the goal in a spectacular play, seal of the house; it was minute 62. The blues combined first touch from the centre of the pitch to draw a perfect play that found the definition of Sugimoto with his right foot to make the 1-0 after an assist by Shimaya. A play that was set in eight touches to become, without doubt, the goal of the day in Japan. However, the beauty of the goal maybe relaxed a bit the men of Ricardo Rodriguez, who saw Kyoto tie the game in the 75th minute. A crossing from the left wing was kicked, free of mark, by Tanaka. The player of Kyoto Sanga came from second line without opposition to score with a header. Exhausted by the weather conditions, Tokushima Vortis could only react with a shot by Sugimoto that went out very close to the rival’s goal. There were no more attempts by the local side, who ended the game with the feeling of having missed a great opportunity.
The next match will be an all or nothing against Avispa Fukuoka, a team that is now six points above. Depending on the outcome of the match, the objective for the rest of the season will be to aim for a direct promotion spot or to secure the play-offs.