J-League’s Kawasaki Frontale stun Chelsea

Players and staff members of Chelsea FC and Kawasaki Frontale pose after their match in Yokohama, Japan, on Friday. (AP)
Updated 19 July 2019

J-League’s Kawasaki Frontale stun Chelsea

  • Chelsea are on a pre-season tour of Japan, and will play a friendly against FC Barcelona on Tuesday in Saitama, north of Tokyo

YOKOHAMA: J-League Champions Kawasaki Frontale pulled off a stunning 1-0 victory against Chelsea in friendly at Yokohama on Friday.
Kawasaki striker Leandro Damiao headed in a Kengo Nakamura cross from a close range in the 87th minute to clinch the upset in front of 61,012 spectators.
Chelsea struggled to find the net despite waves of attacks, with Kawasaki players cautious in defense, particularly before the break. A long journey and high humidity in Japan during the early days of pre-season caused “difficulties for us physically,” said Chelsea coach Frank Lampard.
“The quality of our players on the ball was not quite where we want. It’s very, very normal in pre-season. We will get there.”
“I got no fears. I was happy with (a) big part of the performance,” he added.
The Chelsea boss was tightlipped about squad selection for the upcoming season, only saying he has a “competitive” organization.
“Nobody is in or out of the squad,” Lampard said. “Everybody is competing and the squad will be picked in due time.”

Kawasaki faced pressure
Chelsea maintained pressure on the hosts throughout the match but were unable to translate that into goals.
In the 30th minute, Chelsea forward Pedro showed off his skill by zigzagging past a group of Kawasaki defenders before unleashing a long-range shot, which flew just over the bar.
Four minutes later, a similar attempt by his teammate Kenedy also went wide.

HIGHLIGHTS

● For Kawasaki Frontale, the hard-won victory also shows the quality of Chelsea squad.

● The club is on a pre-season tour of Japan, and will play a friendly against FC Barcelona on Tuesday.

Kawasaki midfielder Akihiro Ienaga, J-League MVP in 2018, threatened the Chelsea goal in a 45th-minute counterattack, ending the move with a sizzling shot which forced a superb one-armed save by goalkeeper Willy Caballero.
After the break, Kawasaki’s Leandro Damiao dashed to meet a Kei Chinen cross, but his diving header inside the box went wide.
Chelsea are on a pre-season tour of Japan, and will play a friendly against FC Barcelona on Tuesday in Saitama, north of Tokyo.
For Kawasaki, the hard-won victory also showed the quality of the Chelsea squad.
“Honestly, the game showed us that they (Chelsea) are very strong,” Kawasaki coach Toru Oniki said after the match.
“We were not allowed play our own football. We felt a lot of pressure. It’s great that we won after having struggled so much,” he said.
“But we went into the match to win, and we won. This was big.”


Boult, Southee rattle Sri Lanka in second Test

Updated 23 August 2019

Boult, Southee rattle Sri Lanka in second Test

  • Weather permitting, extended playing time is planned for the day after only 36.3 overs were possible on Thursday due to rain in the Sri Lankan capital

COLOMBO: Trent Boult and Tim Southee led New Zealand’s charge against Sri Lanka on day two of the rain-hit second Test on Friday, with the host skipper Dimuth Karunaratne’s offering resistance with a half-century.
Boult took two early wickets in one over after Sri Lanka resumed the day on 85 for two at Colombo’s P. Sara Oval, where the start was delayed due to a wet outfield.
Sri Lanka were 144 for six at lunch with Dhananjaya de Silva, on 32, and Dilruwan Perera, on five, at the crease.
Southee, like Boult, also delivered a double-wicket maiden as the duo put on a superb display of seam bowling under overcast conditions.
Boult got overnight batsman Angelo Mathews caught behind for two to reach a landmark of 250 Test wickets — only the third Kiwi bowler to achieve the feat.
He trapped Kusal Perera lbw for nought after just three balls as Sri Lanka slipped to 93-4 and would have been in further trouble had Boult held on to a simple catch from de Silva off his own bowling a few overs later.
Karunaratne also got a lifeline on 61 when Kane Williamson could not grab a tough chance at short mid-wicket off Ajaz Patel.
But the left-hander, who completed his 23rd Test fifty after resuming the day on 49, soon fell, caught behind off Southee for 65.
Southee struck again in the same over to send Niroshan Dickwella trudging back to the pavilion for nought.
Perera then played out the rest of the session with de Silva.
Medium-pace bowler Colin de Grandhomme and spinner William Somerville took a wicket each on the opening day after Sri Lanka elected to bat first.
Weather permitting, extended playing time is planned for the day after only 36.3 overs were possible on Thursday due to rain in the Sri Lankan capital.