The game was played at Hatsukaichi Soccer Park on astro turf and under floodlights. All three being new to both David and Jaime (the only gainjin playing) and DEH FC. We arrived early to make sure we arrived on time, and after abandoning a potentially dangerous short cut, arrived by taxi with an hour to spare. A highly entertaining match was in place and we enjoyed watching the 2nd half whilst hoping that the rest of team would turn up with substitutes to spare, as it was still mightily humid and Jaime had played golf earlier in the day.
After a small fright, DEH indeed would indeed play with 3 substitutes, both Jaime and David volunteering to sit out the 1st half to offer piercing tactical observations to the team's play. It didn't really work. As half time approached DEH was 2 down and looking somewhat forlorn. They trudged off and after a bit of obvious comments on how to improve the second half (i.e defend better) Jaime and David were ready to enter the fray.
The first thing to remark was it was bloody hot. Dry blue shirts were soon darkened by the outpouring of sweat. The second difference was the team had a bit more "umphf" thanks, one has to conclude, to the more aggressive style of the English contingent.
The 2nd half began at pace and didn't let up, DEH knew an early goal would give them a real boost. After a couple of useful attacks, the ball broke loose in midfield, before ending up at Jaime's feet. He looked up at the keeper and despite being closed down lofted a perfect 35 yard chip over the flailing keeper and in the net. Game on.
The equaliser came soon after, but not before a missed penalty by Yousuke. As he had been felled in the box, Jaime the usual taker, inquired what Yousuke wanted... Unfortunately Yousuke's shot brushed the outside of the left post. Yet DEH was not despondent for long as a beautiful low fizzing cross was turned in by Hide. Joy....
...Followed by immediate despair. From the restart FCディナモ went and won a free kick which was dispatched beautifully past the DEH keeper. The team strove and the FCディナモ goal was repelling wave after wave of DEH attack. Jaime hit the post from a side-footed ride foot shot outside the box, the keeper scrambled a couple of last gasp saves (once a bit illegally) and it seemed that fortune would be heartless creature. Then, just when the half was 50mins old and finally seemed to be over, up ran Yasu and a wonderful rapturous scream of triumph reverberated around the empty stands.
David, observe the sweat drenched shirt...
Jaime looking rather pleased under the lights