Tuesday, December 06, 2005


A tale of one city

A pretty hectic football season in Japan reached its climax on Saturday. After Gamba Osaka, the Panasonic company's team who play in the old Banpaku stadium in the Northern end of the city had thrown away a commanding league lead (losing five of their previous six games, for Christ's sake), they entered the final weekend a point adrift of city rivals Cerezo, the pink-clad whoopsies who play in the Nagai World Cup stadium.

With three other teams (JEF United, Urawa Reds and Kashima Antlers) level on points with second-placed Gamba, all of the top five teams had a chance of taking the title on Saturday.

Scores and standings at 88 mins:
Kawasaki 2-3 Gamba
Cerezo 2-1 FC Tokyo
Albirex 0-4 Urawa
Kashima 4-0 Kashiwa
JEF Utd 0-1 Grampus Eight
Cerezo 61 pts +9 GD
Gamba 60 pts +23 GD
Urawa 59 pts +28 GD
Kashima 59 pts +22 GD
JEF Utd 56 pts +12 GD

Scores and standings at full time:
Kawasaki 2-4 Gamba
Cerezo 2-2 FC Tokyo
Albirex 0-4 Urawa
Kashima 4-0 Kashiwa
JEF Utd 2-1 Grampus Eight
Gamba 60 pts +24 GD
Urawa 59 pts +28 GD
Kashima 59 pts +22 GD
JEF Utd 59 pts +14 GD
Cerezo 59 pts +8 GD

Cruel, cruel stuff for Cerezo. For the second week in a row, they conceded a last-minute equaliser. In a season when teams had failed to capitalise on advantages, the second chances finally ran out and the garishly-coloured team from the Nagai stadium went from first place to fifth in one fell swoop.

For Gamba, an otherwise meaningless fourth goal sparked scenes of wild celebration as it coincided with news filtering through of Cerezo's cock-up.

Apparently, this was the first time a Kansai team had taken the J-league title since its inauguration in 1993, although this will be scant consolation to the Cerezo players who, at the final whistle, collapsed on the Nagai pitch, as limp and moist as a pile of udon noodles.

To be honest, the majority of Japanese I have spoken to about this weekend's football have expressed complete indifference.

For more info, check out The Rising Sun Japanese football news page.


More importantley Coventry City FC actually won a gome. A decent win aswell, 3-1. Yes it was against a bunch of underacheiving Devonshire bumpkins/sailor boy nambypambys, but I don't care.


And another!!!

Cov 1 - Millwall 0


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