MX23RW : Friday, September 24 06:12:39| >> :120:27465:27465:
Jul 19, 2019 at 11am UK at Todoroki Athletics Stadium
KawasakiKawasaki Frontale
Damiao (86')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Live Commentary: Kawasaki Frontale 1-0 Chelsea - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live coverage as Chelsea suffer a 1-0 defeat to Kawasaki Frontale in Friday's pre-season friendly in Japan.

A late goal from Leandro Damiao has earned Kawasaki Frontale a 1-0 victory over Chelsea in Friday's pre-season friendly at the Yokohama Stadium.

Despite having the better of the game, Chelsea failed to create many clear-cut opportunities, with Olivier Giroud seeing a second-half free kick well kept out by Shota Arai.

However, Kawasaki netted a game-clinching goal four minutes from time through Damiao, who headed into the net after being left on his own at the back post.

Find out how all of the action unfolded in Japan courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the pre-season friendly between Kawasaki Frontale and Chelsea. Having been involved in a competitive draw and recorded a convincing win during their tour of Ireland, Frank Lampard will want his Blues side to continue their progression when taking on an impressive Kawasaki Frontale outfit on Friday. The two sets of players are about to make their way out onto the pitch in Yokohama, so let's see who features in each starting lineup...

KAWASAKI FRONTALE XI: Jung; Noborizato, Taniguchi, Jesiel, Morita; Tanaka, Shimoda; Ienaga, Abe, Saito; Kobayashi

CHELSEA XI: Caballero; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Zouma, Alonso; Kovacic, Jorginho, Mount; Pedro, Kenedy, Batshuayi

KICKOFF:  We are underway in Japan!

There's quite an atmosphere in Yokohama, but it has been a relatively quiet start on the pitch. Both sides have had spells passing the ball around, mostly in the Chelsea half of the pitch.

Chelsea put together their first attack, which started with an interception from Batshuayi. However, nothing comes from it, despite a willingness from several players to get forward.

Kawasaki are looking to press the Chelsea defence whenever they get the chance, and it almost pays off with Jorginho and Luiz almost giving the ball away on the edge of the area.

Chelsea have been sloppy over the last couple of minutes. Kenedy failed to control a simple pass on the halfway line, while Zpuma failed to pick out a teammate with a low pass across 15 yards. Lampard won't be impressed.

SHOT!  The first chance of the game goes to Kawasaki, with a cross from the left being deflected into the path of Ienaga by Luiz. However, the midfielder's volley goes straight at Caballero.

You already get the impression that this is going to be a tough test for Chelsea. The hosts look comfortable in their own surroundings, while they are playing with a rigid gameplan.

Better from Chelsea who manage to get the ball into Mount on the edge of the area. However, the youngster is closed down before he can get his shot away.

CHANCE!  Is this a sign of Chelsea starting to go through the gears? A long floated pass from Jorginho picks out the run of Pedro, who has gotten himself in behind the backline. However, the Spaniard cannot get a proper connection on his first-time effort on the slide.

SHOT!  Maybe it is. Batshuayi and Mount link up on the edge of the area before the latter returns the ball to the frontman. Batshuayi needs to get his shot away from 20 yards, and fires marginally wide of the far post.

We aren't seeing much from Kawasaki in the final third now. They are packing players behind the ball when Chelsea have possession.

More pressure from Chelsea sees each of Mount and Kenedy being willing to fire shots on goal from at least 25 yards, but both efforts were blocked.

Chelsea are doing what they can to draw the opposition out, but it is proving easier said than done. Lampard looks slightly frustrated on the touchline, although the Englishman will likely be happy that his side are having to work hard in order to create chances.

Kawasaki burst forward with intent and are successful in catching Zouma out on the edge of the Chelsea area, but the home side are unable to get a shot away at the end of the move.

Chelsea are being kept very honest by this Kawasaki side. A promising move involving Azpilicueta and Pedro came to nothing, and the J-League side went straight onto the offensive to force Azpilicueta into working hard to track back.

SHOT!  Back come the Premier League outfit with Pedro being teed up around 25 yards from goal. It's a good effort from the Spaniard, but the ball is always heading over the crossbar.

Kawasaki are back to putting the majority of the players in their own defensive third in a bid to close up the space for Chelsea. It leads to a misplaced pass being followed by a foul.

Nearly an opening for Chelsea as Kawasaki over-play things in their defensive third, leading to an opening for Kenedy. However, the Brazilian has too much to do when attempting to take the ball in his stride.

SHOT!  Kenedy has not had the best of games for Chelsea, but he has come to life over the past 60 seconds. On this occasion, a 30-yard volley goes marginally off target, although the goalkeeper was there should it have been heading towards the top corner.

A driving run through midfield from Kovacic ends with the Croatian laying the ball off for Batshuayi. However, the forward is soon crowded out inside the area.

A sustained spell on the ball comes to an end when Batshuayi does not read Mount's intentions with the pass. The forward was probably to blame there.

Chelsea have upped the tempo over the last few minutes and after good hold-up play from Batshuayi, it takes a fine block from a defender to stop Mount from finding the far bottom corner from 10 yards.

What a ball this is! Alonso is set free down the left and the full-back wastes no time in delivering a superb pass across the area. However, neither Mount, Batshuayi or Pedro can get on the end of it.

We are yet to see whether Lampard will name a completely different lineup for the second half but whatever he decides, this has been an excellent workout for Chelsea in this first half, without actually creating too many opportunities.

SHOT!  Better from Kawasaki who come close to opening the scoring through Ienaga. The midfielder cut inside from the right before attempting to find the far corner with his left, but Caballero is able to tip the effort wide with minimal fuss.

The home side are ending the half very much on top. Chelsea have had to deal with two corners.


The half-time whistle goes in Japan and we remain goalless after a competitive 45 minutes of football. Chelsea have had the better of the play, but Kawasaki have also impressed, especially at the end of the first half.

A number of Chelsea players were warming-up on the touchline before the end of that first half, although it remains to be seen whether Lampard will opt to change all 11 players, as he has done so in the previous two friendlies.

It looks like substitutions are on the way. To what extent, we are yet to find out. Chelsea still have four more friendlies after this one, so there isn't necessarily a rush to get at least 45 minutes into the legs of the players at this stage.

The players are back out in Japan. Chelsea haven't made 11 changes, but there has been plenty. More on that shortly.

KICKOFF:  We are back underway.

So then, there have been five alterations. Zappacosta, Christensen, Palmieri, Barkley and Giroud have replaced Azpilicueta, Zouma, Alonso, Pedro and Batshuayi.

SHOT!  Chelsea have gone on the front foot since the restart, creating their best chance of the contest. Barkley played in Mount down the left, with the youngster cutting inside and curling marginally wide of the far post.

Back come Kawasaki who send a cross towards the back post, but Palmieri stays strong to head behind for a corner.

Chelsea are all over the place at the back right now, and it is only giving encouragement to Kawasaki.

CHANCE!  Kawasaki should probably be ahead. A cross from the right finds Leandro Damiao - who has got himself ahead of Zappacosta - but the Brazilian can only head wide of the near post from eight yards out.

SUBSTITUTIONS! Chelsea make another two changes, with Drinkwater and Bakayoko replacing Jorginho and Kovacic.

That break in play has resulted in somewhat of a resurgence from Chelsea. They press the ball before Barkley gets the chance to shoot from distance, only to see his effort deflected behind for a corner.

CHANCE!  Barkley is making a real impression here. The playmaker picks out the run of Kenedy with a terrific 30-yard pass, but the Brazilian can only send a first-time effort wide of the near post.

Not a lot of add over the last couple of minutes. Kawasaki have regained their shape in defence and midfield.

SHOT!  Kenedy was poor during the opening half-hour, but he has been excellent since then. The winger wins a challenge in midfield before the ball finds its ways to Zappacosta. The right-back advances into the box before a low effort is comfortably saved by Jung.

SUBSTITUTION! Another change for Chelsea, and it is a notable one. Pulisic is on for his debut, with Mount the player to make way.

We have had a break in play due to a head injury to Kenedy, but the Brazilian is fine to continue.

Pulisic has been in the thick of the action since his introduction, but he appears too eager to impress right now.

CHANCE!  Barkley - yet again - creates an opportunity for Chelsea, threading a pass through to Kenedy. However, the winger only fires straight at the goalkeeper when he should have rounded him and tapped into an empty net.

SUBSTITUTION! It proves to be Kenedy's last involvement as Palmer comes on in his place.

Chelsea win a free kick around 25 yards out, and they are not short of players who want to try their luck. However, Luiz can only send his shot into the wall.

SHOT!  The Blues win another set piece on the opposite side of the area. Giroud - of all people - takes responsibility, and forces the goalkeeper to dive to his left to tip wide a 25-yard effort.

Chelsea have started to play with a high tempo again, but Kawasaki are just about holding firm. It will be a notable achievement for the Japanese if they can avoid defeat here.

We have another stoppage as a result of an ankle injury to Bakayoko. It looks like the Frenchman will have to be withdrawn.

Just the 10 minutes to go now. Bakayoko is back on the pitch, although he is moving rather gingerly.

The attendance has been announced as 61,012. That is some turnout for a pre-season friendly. I guess it shows the pull of Premier League sides.

CHANCE!  Chelsea continue to push for what would likely be a winning goal, but Giroud's header from a Palmer cross is comfortably saved by the goalkeeper.

OFF THE BAR!  Kawasaki almost take the lead! A cross from the right is met by Damiao, but the Brazilian's strong header hits the top of the crossbar!


GOAL!  Now they do go in front! Chelsea can't clear the ball in their area and it leads to Nakamura playing a clever ball to the back post for Damiao, who directed a header into the net from close range.

That goal is harsh on Chelsea, but a defeat here will no doubt create negative headlines. It's the second late goal which has been conceded in three pre-season games.

We are deep into added-on time now. I don't think we will be having much more.


The full-time whistle goes in Japan and Kawasaki have held on to register a memorable 1-0 victory over Chelsea. The Blues will feel that they deserved at least a share of the spoils, but Damiao's late header has proven to be the difference.

That will be all from Sports Mole for this match. Thank you for joining today and we hope to see you again soon.

If you would like to read our on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.

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