August 26, 2017
The Japan League 2 enters its decisive phase, and the important thing when the end line is so near is to keep adding. Tokushima Vortis added another point after the tie against Montedio Yamagata in a home game full of chances and with a half for each team.
The first half was clearly for Tokushima Vortis, although with little accuracy in the offensive plays. The first opportunity came from a free-kick by Iwao, who tried to surprise Montedio Yamagata’s goalkeeper with a shot that went out very close to the goal. Shortly after it was Watari, with a good movement inside the box, who was close to score. Komada, goalkeeper of Montedio Yamagata, stopped it with a great save against the local striker. Osaki, who came from a hat-trick in the previous matchday, also tried with a header that went slightly out. After the siege of the first fifteen minutes, the goal finally arrived in the 20th minute of the game by Watari, taking advantage of an assist by Sugimoto. The midfielder of Tokushima Vortis found the gap in the rival defence to give a perfect pass to Watari, who finished with a first touch with his right foot to sign a great goal. The first half closed without further chances.
The second half was very different, with the team of Ricardo Rodriguez having less offensive influence and suffering in the defensive zone. However, Tokushima Vortis had the chance to close the match shortly after kick-off in a shot from Osaki that was cleared by Montedio Yamagata’s goalkeeper, without a doubt the best player of his team, and that almost ends in an own goal after a bad clearance by the visitor’s defence. Yet from the possible 2-0 it turned into a complete new match, in which Montedio Yamagata, until then very defensive, stretched lines in search for the tie. The goal chances began to have visitor’s colour. First it was Suzuki with a header that hit the crossbar of Tokushima Vortis’ goal. Senuma, forward of Montedio Yamagata, also hit the crossbar some minutes later. Finally the 1-1 came in the 71st minute in a corner-kick. Sakano hunted a deflection inside the box to equalize the scoreboard and leave Tokushima Vortis with 51 points in the fourth place of the table.
The distance with Yokohama FC, first club outside the play-off spots, remains in three points (48). Meanwhile, Shonan Bellmare, leader of the competition, comes closer to the Japan League 1 with 63 points. 56 points now has Avispa Fukuoka, second and last team in direct promotion spots, and Nagoya Grampus, third, reaches 52 points. Next matchday the team of Ricardo Rodriguez will seek to continue adding in the match against Matsumoto Yamaga.