Júbilo Iwata and Vissel Kobe played against each other over the weekend matchday fourteen of the season. Both teams were in need of the three points as they were finding themselves near the relegation zone in the J-League, neither of the clubs thought to be here at this point in the season. The game proved to be a game between two equally strong teams which ended in a 1-1 draw, as this tactical analysis will show.
In this tactical analysis supported by statistics, we will have a look at two tactical trends during this J-League game between Júbilo Iwata and Vissel Kobe. We will have a look at Júbilo Iwata attacked with their 3-5-2 formation and how Vissel Kobe pressed with their 3-4-3 formation.
Júbilo Iwata coach Hiroshi Nanami fielded a 3-5-2 formation with a three-man defence of Ryo Shinzato, Kentaro Ito and Shohei Takahashi. The three-man defence was strengthened by Kosuke Yamamoto. Yamamoto was part of the five-man midfield, but had a defensive role and helped out the defence. Gerson Rodrigues and Adailton were the two strikers.
Vissel Kobe coach Takayuki Yoshida also played with a three-man defence in his 3-4-3 formation. The difference is that he played with a four-man midfield and three strikers. David Villa, Wellington and Hirotaka Mita were assigned the task to produce goals in this J-League game.
Júbilo Iwata’s attacking 3-5-2
Jubilo Iwata was the home team in this particular J-league match and they wanted to utilise that home advantage by playing attacking football. The didn’t have the majority of ball possession with 49.36%, but they still managed to get 18 shots of which five were on target. Júbilo Iwata produced twice as many shots as their opponents. We will now look into how they constructed their attacks using their 3-5-2 formation.
Júbilo Iwata’s attack started from the back with their back three: Shinzato, Ohi and Takahashi would move forward and pass the ball to the midfielders from there.
In defence, the wide-midfielders Daiki Ogawa and Masaya Matsumoto dropped down to form a five-man defence, but as soon as the attack started, they made their way forward in order to assist the attack. Another option was that Yamatomo dropped down to collect the ball and started the attack from there, as you can see in the images below.
In the image above Yamatomo drops down to collect the ball and distribute it further to the midfield. The defenders would go higher up the pitch to make the coming attack stronger and this left the midfield with plenty of options going forward.
Ogawa has different options going forward and Júbilo Iwata’s five-man midfield gave them the opportunity to back the two strikers when in attack. Eventually, Ogawa goes for the pass to Hiroki Yamada on his left.
From the options, Júbilo Iwata had from the midfield they created many goalscoring opportunities, but only five of the 18 were on goal. As you can see on the image above, they tried to cross the ball from the wing. This is something they did on fourteen occasions, with six of those crosses being delivered.
In the end, it wasn’t a goal from open play that resulted in their 93rd-minute equaliser, but a rebound of a missed penalty that saw Júbilo Iwata clinch a vital point.
Vissel Kobe pressing with their 3-4-3
Vissel Kobe tried to defend an early lead, after scoring in the 3rd minute by a penalty converted by David Villa. What was interesting, was the way that Vissel Kobe pressed their opponents.
Vissel Kobe didn’t press their opponents high up on their own half but started pressing when Júbilo Iwata were threatening to cross the halfway line. When they came in that area, Vissel Kobe started to press and Júbilo Iwata found themselves in trouble.
The midfielders started to press and were assisted by the strikers who would do the same. This would lead on several occasions to a turnover and a Vissel Kobe attack. Vissel Kobe tried to be dangerous via this kind of play.
In the image above you can see that Júbilo Iwata wants to start their attack, but this is halted by the pressing of four Vissel Kobe players. They all have their eyes on an opponent and recapture the ball.
The midfield pressed and when capturing the ball, this would leave the attackers in a position to do some damage, such as David Villa on this instance. He received the ball and went on to threaten the Júbilo Iwata goal.
Vissel Kobe started pressing with their midfield and the attack joined in, but only after Júbilo Iwata was threatening to enter their halve. The moment that Vissel Kobe pressed, meant that their attackers were in a good position to do some damage when the ball was recaptured.
It was an interesting match between two sides in the J-League who needed the three points. Júbilo Iwata had the better chances, but only managed to equalise late on in the match. This game wasn’t decided on the basis of open play but was decided on two given penalties, which eventually led to a 1-1 draw between Júbilo Iwata and Vissel Kobe.