“I am satisfied with the result, but also feeling disappointed to score just one goal, though I sent many players to the pitch to get result. Having said that I should try to focus on that we had a victory. There were so many people who came along to the stadium despite it’s a weekday, so the players strived to show good plays.
In the 2nd half, our main guys joined to play, they changed the flow and created a good form. So it’s a shame we couldn’t lead it to shoot. We had a good result, but we must make sure to improve where we can improve.
It’s great to be within top 3 of the group stage of the Levain Cup, but we must play for the league matches and the cup matches, and we’ll have many matches to come continuously for a while, so we must be preparing well. We made a recovery today from the defeat against Kashiwa at the previous game, and I think it’s important for us to keep this positive mood for the future.”
■ Yusuke Maruhashi
“At the scene of the goal, I saw Kiyo (Hiroshi Kiyotake) and Rica (Ricardo Santos) making good move, so I kicked towards them, and that was great to having the ball went into the goal by a chance.”
Q: Did you have an instruction from manager Yoon Jung-Hwan to score?
“Not directory, but when Kiyo came onto the pitch I knew we shifted to attack.”
Q: Now you have secured your place for moving up to the play-off stage as being within top 3 of group stage of Levain Cup, Group B. What is your next step?
“There are more games to play, so I want to win each game at one time.”
1-0 victory with Yusuke Maruhashi’s super long shot. Cerezo secured top 3 in Group B!
Cerezo Osaka had a game against Albirex Niigata at their home ground Kincho Stadium for the 5th round of J league YBC Levain Cup, Group B. They had only 3 days between the previous J1 10th round away game v Kashiwa Reysol and this match, a rather short preparation period, and Cerezo faced the new opponent with new player line-ups.
At the beginning, Cerezo struggled with Niigata who just had a new manager and possessed full of determination for the victory. However at one scene, the Goalkeeper Kim Jin-hyeon stretched his arms out and blocked, the ball hit the crossbar and he avoided to lose a goal. Cerezo escaped from the crisis by the great play of the mighty saver. Then from around the 30th minute, Cerezo started showing better play, but the 1st half finished scoreless.
However, as Yasuki Kimoto later said “we survived without losing a goal, and that led us to the 2nd half”, Cerezo well endured over Niigata’s attack, and in 2nd half they played and stayed longer in the opponent territory. And they strengthen their offence position by sending Hiroshi Kiyotake at 63rd minute and Yusuke Maruhashi at 65th minute on the pitch, then at 79th minute, got the awaited opening goal. Maruhashi kicked long feed from left side in Cerezo’s own territory towards in front of the opponent goal, and Kiyotake and Ricardo Santos reacted to this ball and run after it as hard as they could. Though they couldn’t reach to the ball, it caused Niigata’s goalkeeper Tatsuya Morita’s misjudge, the ball bounced high over Morita’s head and drawn into the goal. For Maruhashi, who made the mistake at clear and that caused the team defeated by losing a goal in previous game against Kashiwa, it was the goal for wiping the disgrace.
After that there were some counter attacks by Niigata, but whole team of Cerezo defended firmly by risking their body including fantastic header clearance by Teruyuki Moniwa to Niigata’s goal shot, and didn’t allow a goal to the opponent. After all, Cerezo managed their victory by 1-0 and added the winning points to 11, made them secured within top 3 of Group B that guaranteed for entering to the play-off stage, along with Vissel Kobe who also won on the same day and has 12 winning points. Cerezo has made another step closer to be in the best 8 of Levain Cup after 3 years.