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"A-A-Akamine" back in the old routine

26 Oct 2009(Mon)

October 23, 2009: Looking on the bright side of Cabore's departure to Qatar in September, it has opened the way for Shingo Akamine to re-establish himself in the FC Tokyo team.

Akamine faded from the picture this season as manager Hiroshi Jofuku decided to go with Sota Hirayama up front alongside the big Brazilian.

But now the path is clear for Akamine to get back among the goals - and what a beauty he scored in the thrashing of Reysol last Saturday. It was classic Akamine, finishing so swiftly and so naturally to suggest the goals can flow again with Cabore no longer a factor.

Taking a slide-rule pass from Hanyu in his stride, Akamine beat Sugeno with a low drive into the bottom corner before the Reysol keeper had time to even think about the save. It was a magnificent goal, and the crucial one just before the break to open the floodgates in what became a 4-0 rout.

Cabore was an influential presence with his physical size and his mobility, but he was guilty of missing a lot of chances, especially in one-on-ones with the keeper. At times this season I thought his real Brazilian name must be “Cabaret” rather than Cabore, because it was so entertaining wondering where the next miss was coming from.

He was nowhere near as prolific as the likes of Magno Alves, Davi, Bare or Leandro - other Brazilians who switched from the J.League to the Gulf - so it was something of a surprise when so many teams, including Al Arabi, showed an interest in him.

Many Tokyo fans would have had mixed feelings, as the loss of Cabore meant a fresh chance for  "A-A-Akamine", a crowd favourite supported by a melodic chant which ranks among the best in the J.League.

On the subject of the FC Tokyo song selection, they will have to try a bit harder on the Hirayama front! A four-syllable surname just does not fit into the three-syllable name needed for a Tokyo take on the famous “Oo-ah, Can-to-na” version.

“Oo-ah, Hi-ra-ya-ma?” Sorry, that just does not flow at all - but there is still time to work on it before the Nabisco Cup final!


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