Nagoya Grampus hit a bit of a rough patch over the last couple months, dropping from potential title contender to out of the top four entirely, so they made a big signing to help turn things around. Jakub Świerczok was brought in to give them a bonafide striker, and he showed why Nagoya thought he can be a season-changer for them against Avispa Fukuoka.
The Nagoya defense was resolute, as it always is, but struggling to create much, which has been an issue for the team this season. So, just after halftime, Świerczok turned into a one-man attack.
The Polish forward got a ball with his back to goal just beyond the box, took a touch to the outside, then turned back inside before hitting a blistering curler that perfectly nestled into the top corner of the net.
With one play, Świerczok single-handedly made the difference to win the match, just a few days after he delivered Grampus a victory in the Emperor’s Cup fourth round. Nagoya went looking for a game-changing striker, and it appears as if they found him.
Nagoya are still in fifth place, but they are just a point back of third. Another AFC Champions League berth is still in the cards, all while they are in this year’s knockout stage and in the quarterfinals of both the Emperor’s Cup and the J.LEAGUE YBC Levain CUP. A big season is still within their grasp, and they have to feel confident about their chances in all four competitions with Świerczok up top.