“Though I really wanted to return the favour so much today by earning 3 winning points to all our supporters who came along so far away for us, but we couldn’t do it with our regret. We created so many chances but couldn’t execute them, and that was one of the reasons for the draw.
We lost our lead so easily after our opening goal, and made ourselves difficult to conduct the game. The result became just a compromising one as we were at least not defeated. Of course I am not completely happy, however I thank the players who never gave up and kept running until the end, and respect the 1 winning point at the away game. In the next few weeks, we will face a series of games including Lavain Cup. We will be well prepared and do our best, without any injuries.”
Q: You made the substitution in the middle of the 2nd Half, to put Hiroshi Kiyotake at right side. Kiyotake has quite different character to Kunimitsu Sekiguchi, so what was your expectation?
“As you could see, Kiyotake is probably better rhythm maker of the game. However it doesn’t mean Sekiguchi is not a good player. These 2 players just have different characters. Sekiguchi works really hard for defence, and can create some good chances at offence. No matter who goes on the pitch, it always works positively for the team.”
■ Kenyu Sugimoto
“It’s a real shame. We didn’t allow the opponents to do anything. I admit my positioning was not good when we lost the point by the opponent’s set-play, I must reflect on myself for it, but the most important thing is that if I executed the chances I had we could win. I could score 3 goals. Numbers of chances were increasing, ball was coming into in front of the goal, so it’s up to me how I could concentrate and execute them. I must rise up the level of my concentration. It was the same situation today as the last game, we could win if I executed the chances. I am so gutted because it’s happened again for 2 games running, so I will play to make the team win for the next match.”
Q: Please look back the scene of your goal?
“I saw the ball was dropped at good spot (at Yoichiro Kakitani), I believed he could make a cross by one touch, so I run, then the good pass came along. Then it was just me against the goalkeeper, so I scored the goal calmly. However, we didn’t win! Even after the opponent’s counter goal, we still had chances, and I wish we scored more. I am gutted but trying not to be negative, we’ll have the Lavain Cup game next, and then the league match against (my ex-team) Kawasaki Frontale, I just want to win.”
Cerezo dominated Kofu on defence and offence, Kenyu Sugimoto scored the opening goal again, but Cerezo couldn’t execute chances and lost a point by Kofu’s set-play. It ended as a regrettable draw.
Cerezo faced against Ventforet Kofu with the same starting members and substitutes as the last match against Gumba Osaka. At just 30 seconds after the kick-off, Cerezo Osaka gave a free-kick away by Riku Matsuda’s foul on Dudu, however after getting over this incident, Cerezo dominated the game. As predicted, Cerezo kept the ball and Kofu defended tight and sought a chance.
Cerezo couldn’t break through into Kofu’s penalty area and was struggling at the beginning of the game, but started to get closer to Kofu’s goal after 20 minutes into the game. Though still failed to score a goal, Cerezo was very speedy to shift from offence to defence, move towards opponent players, and managed to get ball back to them after losing it to opponent. And they hardly gave any chances away to Kofu. There was only a scene of little threat at 33rd minute when Kofu took a free-kick, but Kofu managed only 2 attempting shoots in 1st half.
‘Just need an execution’ was the description of the 1st half, and then, soon after beginning of the 2nd half, the moment of waiting came. At 48th minute, Matej Jonjic kicked back Kofu’s clear to Hotaru Yamaguchi who headed the ball, then the loose ball was won by Kazuya Yamamura who dropped it to Yoichiro Kakitani, then Kakitani made a perfect through pass direct to Kenyu Sugimoto who were at near the goal. Sugimoto received the pass from the no.8 by perfect timing and got through by the defenders, made himself one to one against the goalkeeper, then calmly struck the ball into back net at the other side of the goal by his left foot.
The Blossoms got the rhythm by their proud striker’s 2 games running goals, and at 59th minute Hiroshi Kiyotake came onto the pitch to substitute to Kunimitsu Sekiguchi who hurt his ankle and knee by opponent’s foul when he was dribbling through in the 1st half. Cerezo was aiming another goal by this substitution however the mood changed better to Kofu’s way. Kofu tried to attack a few times from right side before Cerezo’s defence got ready, then eventually Cerezo gave a free-kick away by Kiyotake’s foul on Dudu. And lost a goal from this free-kick. It was the same situation as the last game, Cerezo lost a point by opponent set-play, Yamaguchi said after the match “the opponent has been studying on us” with suggesting necessity of improvement.
Cerezo couldn’t accept 1 winning point, and started a fierce counterattack led by Kiyotake. In the last 10 minutes which included the additional time, Cerezo tried with raging attacks and had many chances, however failed to execute for the winning goal and the game finished 1-1 draw.