Worst home debut ever? Antalyaspor’s Shoya Nakajima sent off as family watch on

  • Rob Swan
Japan international sent off on home debut without touching ball - his family looked heartbroken

Shoya Nakajima’s home debut for Antalyaspor will be remembered for many years to come – sadly for all the wrong reasons.

The Japan international signed a two-year deal with the Turkish club earlier this month after leaving FC Porto.

He made his first appearance for his new employers as a late substitute against Kayserispor a couple of days later.

Nakajima then made his home debut against Adana Demirspor on Saturday, entering the fray in the 59th minute in place of Houssam Ghacha.

The TV cameras cut to Nakajima’s family watching on proudly in the stands, filming their relative as he ran onto the pitch.

But their joy turned to devastation moments later when Nakajima was penalised for a dangerous late tackle on right-back Jonas Svensson, who was left in a lot of pain.

Nakajima tackle leaves opponent in pain

Referee Ali Palabiyik showed the substitute a yellow card, much to the surprise of Adana Demirspor’s players and coaching staff. They felt it should have been a red.

Palabiyik was then advised to review the incident on his pitch-side monitor.

He then returned, cancelled the yellow card, and upgraded Nakajima’s punishment to a straight red.

Just two minutes after coming on, the Japanese winger had been sent for an early bath.

He hadn’t even touched the ball.

Video: Shoya Nakajima’s red card on Antalyaspor home debut

Watch Nakajima’s red card (and his family’s reaction) here:

Home debuts don’t get much worse, do they?

As Nakajima made his way towards the tunnel, his family members looked shellshocked and heartbroken in the stands.

Reacting to the footage on social media, commentator Jacqui Oatley tweeted: “His poor mum!”

You’ve got to feel for Nakajima’s family.

It should have been a happy day, but smiles soon turned to tears thanks to one bad tackle.

Antalyaspor went on to lose the match 3-0

Both teams had already had a player sent off in the first half, meaning Antalyaspor were left with nine men when Nakajima received his marching orders.

Adana Demirspor were already 1-0 up thanks to a first-minute goal from Younes Belhanda but went on to score twice more in the final 15 minutes through Fredrik Gulbrandsen and Britt Assombalonga to wrap up a 3-0 victory.

The result leaves Antalyaspor 13th in the table with six points from their opening seven matches.

Nakajima will have some making up to do when he returns from suspension.

Adana Demirspor, meanwhile, remain top of the Turkish Super Lig alongside Galatasaray on 16 points.

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