I got to see Shonan on Saturday morning, and they were a delight.
So, what happened? By the time Kosuke Taketomi had put Shonan in front after just two minutes, they’d already missed a couple of chances – Taketomi’s goal was…lucky, shall we say, certainly relied on the Ehime goalkeeper’s inability to possess wrists that would shake another human being’s hand.
That was early on, but the wave of green attacks kept coming and kept coming. Shonan had actually clinched promotion the week before this game, but there was no sign of them letting up and when Ryota Nagaki made it two, again from range, the game was up for Ehime.
Perhaps not surprisingly, they played a little better when out of the eye of the storm, never threatening, but looking less likely to succumb to the continued attacks – there’s seven games left still in J2, and Shonan look like they might get to 100 points (they need 12 from 21) which would be phenomenal, given that the points record in Japan is 106, from a staggering 51 games.
Anyway, the best goal was yet to come. A ball into the penalty area looked to be cleared by the Ehime goalkeeper, though he hadn’t counted on the rapid feet and quick-thinking of Shohei Okada. I’m hoping that video works, because the way he flicked it over the keeper was a sight to behold – by a distance the best goal I saw all weekend, and probably the best for a long time. Truly a work of genius if he meant it – he did.
Entertainment Value? 7.5/10.