“We are getting one step closer to the knockout stage of the Lavain Cup. Though it was extremely hot weather and very difficult game, we managed to score and defend well untill the end, and had a great result. The players endured over the tough & difficult period. Our hard schedule will still continue, but I believe they can go through. We must prepare more for the further games.”
Q: About the goal scorer Daichi Akiyama, it was a controlled and fantastic shoot, how do you rate him?
“He is the captain of the team for Lavain Cup, very responsible player. But I’m not expecting another great shoot like that from him again… (said with a smile). I presume you will be hearing from himself, but I think it was the first goal ever (in the professional regular match) for him. It really was a beautiful goal. However I don’t think I can see it again (with smile). We’ve been practicing the shooting, and it seems that the practice made the such smooth shoot when the chance came.”
■ Daichi Akiyama
Q: Please look back the goal?
“I don’t remember the moment, but I just thought ‘Wow, it’s in!’. Thinking about it later, it was a good shot and went to the good spot. It was my first goal as a professional, so I’m happy.”
Q: How do you feel about the club’s been playing without defeat for a while?
“I think working hard all of us together and challenging all together is bringing the results of without defeat. It’s the same for the members who play for the league matches and the members who play for the Cup matches. Because we are challenging, we continue with results without defeat. I want to continue that, and work hard with everyone to push the team to be even better.”
Cerezo faced the 4th round of Lavain Cup away against Sanfrecce Hiroshima. In the 1st half, though Hiroshima who is great for possessing ball kept the ball and made some crosses from side, Cerezo kept their cool and replied well. It was endurable 1st half for Cerezo, however they gave just one on-target shoot to the opponent. Cerezo didn’t allow any other threating situations.
Cerezo was desperate to have the opening goal to gain the ascendancy over Hiroshima, and at 56th minute, it was brought by Daichi Akiyama who wore the captain’s armband at Lavain Cup. At this point, Cerezo gained corner-kick’s in a row, then connected the second ball out to side. Kunimitsu Sekiguchi made near cross to Shohei Kiyohara who fought against the goalkeeper and managed to head the ball, and the defender made clear. But the ball flew to Akiyama outside the penalty area, then Akiyama volleyed it without hesitation. The fantastic & controlled shoot that Akiyama described later ‘I cannot remember the moment’ struck into the goal. It was happy 1st goal as professional in regular game for Akiyama. Cerezo produced the precious opening goal in the tough away match, and that made loud delight noise at the bench and behind the away goal.
After the opening goal, the manager Yoon made a quick move. He sent Mitsuru Maruoka substitute to Ricardo Santos at 56th minute, and Takeru Kishimoto for Kunimitsu Sekiguchi at 61st minute. “It was for physical reason and also the offence flow wasn’t working. So it was rather early time but I made the substitutions to make them concentrated on the defence”, the commander explained after the game, and at the same timing of the substitutions he also changed the formation to 5-3-2 system. Yasuki Kimoto was brought down to Defence line to firm the back, and placed Maruoka and Kishimoto, the fresh guys at the top to secure the threats of counterattack.
There was a scene of threat near the end at 93rd minute, however over all, Cerezo maybe gave possession away but didn’t give chances away. At 90th minute, Masataka Nishimoto made debut for the top team, and the game ended.
This is the victory after 3 games since the 1st round against Yokohama F Marinos in the Cup games. Vissel Kobe also won in this round so Cerezo didn’t become the top on the table, however the winning points reached to 8, and got closer to break through the group stage.