So, what happened? Such is the nature of these things that Bellmare (Bell-marr-eh) clinched the title with a 0-0 win. To be fair, their form’s been mixed over the last few weeks anyway, but this was a solid enough display.
I came into it at half time, and the second half was just what I’d come to expect, with the midfield looping balls up in front of and behind the defence allowing the forwards to try to make the best of them, though Tokyo stood firm for the early part of the half and began to exert a little pressure of their own on the break.
That came to a head when Yuichi Maruyama was isolated on his own and committed a fairly obvious professional foul, he should have been off, but only saw yellow. The reprieve begat a spell of Shonan pressure, the best chance of which came to Wellington who fired narrowly wide from just inside the box.
That was the closest either side came until Shohei Okada was put through in the last five minutes, with half the field still to cover before reaching the Tokyo goal, he motored on, outpacing the defenders who were trying to trail him back, but fired a shot disappointingly wide of the near post when he got into position.
That marked the end of the goalmouth action, though as Maruyama saw red for another challenge that erred towards the ludicrous, launching himself at knee height at the death. The Shonan players applauded their 4,000 fans at the end, but the celebrations were endearingly low key.
Entertainment Value? 5/10.
PS: I put the after-match comments into Google Translate. Loved this.
Yuto Misao = Three Pole Sound