YOKOHAMA – Yokohama F. Marinos manager Ange Postecoglou was left ruing missed chances Friday night after his side dominated play but finished with a scoreless draw against visiting Sagan Tosu.
Marinos will certainly feel they let three points slip from their grasp, having hit the woodwork several times as they took 20 shots to the visitors’ six at Nissan Stadium.
In the first J1 match following the international break, Postecoglou’s men were true to form as they sought to dominate possession and break down their opponents with tight passing.
Sagan were without Spanish marquee striker Fernando Torres, who left the field with an injured right leg in the second half of their previous match, a 1-0 win over Jubilo Iwata on March 17 that remains their sole victory of the campaign.
The visitors withstood sustained pressure throughout the match, managing only around 37 percent of possession, but got an admirable performance from ‘keeper Takuo Okubo.
The 29-year-old finished with five saves and made a number of other vital plays to keep his team on level terms.
Former Australian national team boss Postecoglou, however, was reluctant to give any credit to the visitors, laying the responsibility for the result entirely at the feet of his own team.
“At the end of the day, we created enough chances to win five games. They didn’t stop us. The crossbar stopped us, the goalkeeper didn’t stop us,” Postecoglou said.
“It’s a game we should have won easily … but we didn’t take our chances. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the win our play deserved.”
One of Marinos’ new Brazilian signings, Marcos Junior, had the first chance of the game, finding space inside the area with a well-timed run before directing a volley straight at Okubo.
Marinos found the woodwork twice in a two-minute span midway through the second half, with Koji Miyoshi first hitting the upright with a deflected attempt before right-back Ken Matsubara blasted a close-range shot into the crossbar.
Okubo got his fingertips to a long-range effort from another Brazilian newcomer, striker Edigar Junio, deflecting his 90th-minute shot onto the crossbar.
The result leaves Marinos with eight points after two wins, two draws and a loss. Sagan picked up points for just the second time this season after opening their campaign with three straight losses.