East Asia Japan

S-Pulse Edge Iwata Out in First Top-Flight Shizuoka Derby in Two Years

The Shizuoka Derby between arch-rivals Shimizu S-Pulse and Jubilo Iwata has always been one of the J.League’s most heated rivalries and the hostilities did not disappoint on Saturday, with Matchweek 2’s derby being the first such contest played out in the J.League 1 in two years.

Newly-promoted Iwata hosted their neighbors at the Yamaha Stadium to a fantastic atmosphere, however it was the men in orange from Shimizu who stole all three points, edging out Iwata 2-1 with the host ending the match with just nine men.

It took Shimizu only nine minutes to open the scoring, with 20-year old attacking midfielder Yuito Suzuki, who was on the radar of clubs from Belgium and Scotland, blasting a chipped shot above Iwata goalkeeper Ryuki Miura and into the net.

Iwata fired back in the 23rd minute thanks to a Suzuki of their own, with Yuto Suzuki poking home a long ball from the midfield beyond the reaches of Shimizu goalie Shuichi Gonda.

The two Shizuoka rivals then traded blow after blow, with the likes of Shota Kaneko and Masaya Matsumoto going close for Iwata while Eiichi Katayama almost gave Shimizu the lead in the 50th minute.

Eventually, the away side did get the goal that they needed in the 67th minute after Katsuhiro Nakayama’s belter of a shot from some distance got the better of Miura.

Iwata then suffered the ignominy of having two of their players being sent off in the space of four minutes, with defender Norimichi Yamamoto receiving a second yellow card in the 74th minute before substitute Fabian Gonzalez saw a straight red in the 78th minute.

Shimizu held on tightly for all three points and even had the chance to make it 3-1 in the 87th minute after a Nakayama shot sailed over the Iwata crossbar. The win meant that Shimizu are 3rd in the J1 table with four points after two matches thanks to a draw and a win, while Iwata found themselves in 14th place with a solitary point from their two matches, with the men in sky blue’s only point coming from a draw with Avispa Fukuoka in opening day last week.