It was nice weather and temperature on 9th Feb at 5pm. It was the best condition for all the players, referee and audience. 1st half, From the start of the game, depressing the opponent's defense freedom by pressing from the front, controlling the game, scores in 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 40 minutes. FCN showed great performance. The defense line was also stable, and there was no dangerous scene. In this game, Hibernians FC MF Andrew Knott who has an speed and techniques seemed absence. Actually, this is one of a lucky for FCN in that game. FCN watched out him, because he can posses the ball well with good speed to control the game. 1st half result was 3-0. However, FCN thought the score is still even. Because, we had some experience that our team lost by a reversal in the past. In the second half, due to member substitution of MF, the attack from the left increased, but the ball possession in the middle was getting lower. And then, Hibernians got some opportunity to get a point. Finally in 20 minutes of 2nd half, The errant pass was cut off on the right side middle and FCN lost a point by the counter. However, from this point FCN corrected the position of MF and rebuilt the ball possession. In general, although it was a well-organized and controlled game by FCN, there were many scenes that miss score, and FCN had to prepare for the counter-attack in order not to allow a point.
We knew Nippon were bang in form and that this would be a tough game but we gave them a massive helping hand in the first half and that cost us. Nippon aggressively pressed and attacked quickly from the off, but scored from a pretty average direct free-kick. A soft goal so early. We handed them another goal when we failed to clear in simple situations twice and Nippon's stand-out player, Uchida, ended up one-on-one and even though Vish nearly saved it, the ball trickled over the line. We didn't create much in the half apart from when Julio got into a decent position and got a corner and at the other end, Boycey did brilliantly to clear off the line. Nippon basically sealed the win when at the third attempt their top scorer, Kakimoto, scored. We changed a few things around and were much better. We had the ball in the net, but it was a tight offside and we asked more questions of Nippon who were still dangerous. Dan got one back finishing a lovely move involving our best performer, Buffy. We huffed and puffed with Julio having a free-kick tipped over, but Nippon scored very late after an excellent save by Vish the ball was poked in from close range. Well done to the referee for his strong officiating in a physical game and Nippon will keep climbing the table on this evidence, but hands off our Knott.