Sunday, October 31, 2021

Kyoto Sanga v Renofa Yamaguchi

Kyoto Sanga v Renofa Yamaguchi, J2

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Kyoto on 24th October, promotion hopefuls Sanga played out a 1-1 draw with struggling Renofa at Sanga Stadium by Kyocera in Kameoka.

Kyoto Sanga v Renofa Yamaguchi.
Kyoto Sanga v Renofa Yamaguchi

In front of a crowd of a little over 6,000 spectators, the first half was uneventful and goalless.

Just after the break, Miyayoshi Takumi put the home side ahead and it looked odds-on that Sanga would prevail especially after Renofa's Kikuchi Kosuke was sent off for a brainless second yellow card on the hour mark. That they didn't was due to a dogged rearguard performance by the visitors and an amazing goal-line clearance by the Brazilian Henik Luiz de Andrade.

The Purple Wall
The Purple Wall

Kusana Yuki grabbed a breakaway equalizer for the visitors after 79 minutes and 10-man Renofa could have even taken all three points at the end.

The handful of orange-clad Renofa supporters would have made the long journey home to Yamaguchi in high spirits.

Sanga relies too heavily on the veteran 37-year-old Nigerian/Belgian striker Peter Utaka, who has represented a number of clubs in China and Japan. A lot of Sanga's play goes through the journeyman forward not always to the betterment of the team.

Still, Utaka was on target again the following week at Ehima and barring an almighty collapse, Kyoto should take their place in J1 next season along with Jubilo. How long they will stay there is another matter.

The glory days under coach Gert Engels with a young Park Ji Sung (later of PSV and Manchester United fame) plus Daisuke Matsui and Teruaki Kurobe in the team are long gone.

Sanga v Renofa, J2.
Sanga v Renofa, J2

Access - Getting There

Kameoka is 20 km west of Kyoto city and easily reached by JR train from either Kyoto Station or Nijo Station in 18-30 minutes depending on the type of train you take. Both stations are on the city's subway network. Kameoka Station is adjacent to the new stadium and just five minutes on foot.

The Sun Royal Hotel Kameoka Ekimae is adjacent to both Kameoka Station and the ground.

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