“It was a match against Urawa (Red Diamonds) under situation of we are leading the league table, however we played without being conscious about the position on the table, and showed fantastic play. I heard the team used to struggle to win when they had such huge spectators, but they are getting used to win in front of a huge audience now, and I’m very happy. There were so many people, and they provided us with the force that made us victorious. I am so happy to be able to produce the good result. The players showed fantastic performance on the pitch. I would like to send the messages to them, ‘Thank you’ and ‘Well done’.
■ Kenyu Sugimoto
Q: In the recent games, the team has had problems at the start, but today, you scored 2 goals in the early time instead. Was it a big impact for the rest of the match?
“That was exactly what we were talking about before the game, as ‘We struggle at start of the game recently, so let’s try to score a goal at the right beginning today’. Then Kota (Mizunuma) said ‘We should have a chance at the beginning in 1st half, so let’s execute it’, and so we did.”
Q: Both the 1st and 2nd goal, do you think you did execute them as a ‘striker’ should do?
“Well, after that, I hit post and I should have scored that too. Also, as the team, we had enough number of defenders but lost an unnecessary goal, so we must reflect on it. Then I think, we made the correction on that mistake at halftime, and talked through, so I wasn’t too worried. Regarding the goals, I had fantastic assists, so it wasn’t just me who made them. Everyone ran so much, worked very hard, and I would like to continue to do so by myself, and I believe that’ll create more chances to come. Then when the chance comes, we must execute it well.”
Massive 4 goals in the 1st half including Kenyu Sugimoto’s goals in 3 consecutive games. Cerezo Osaka accomplished their revenge to Urawa Red’s at their home.
It was a re-match against the team they had utter defeat at the 2nd round. However the Pink blossom worriers were high in the spirit from the right beginning, as they had been working so hard under the manager Yoon Jung-Hwan’s instruction since the defeat, and showed strong eagerness for the victory. And it was the top scorer of the team Kenyu Sugimoto who prove that. ‘I really didn’t want to be defeated, and entered into the game with believing that we were definitely going to win’ the number 9 of the blossom said, and indeed, he was the one who started the ‘goal-rush’. Just after 6 minutes from Kick-off, Sugimoto struck the ball in front of the goal with his right foot, to the cross from right by Kota Mizunuma who managed to get the ball from the corner-kick they gained at right corner. As the team, it was their 1st opening goal of the match since the 16th round match against Vegalta Sendai, and that made Cerezo non-stop. They scored the 2nd, only 2 minutes after the 1st goal. Sugimoto scored with his fantastic header, to the cross from left side this time by Yoichiro Kakitani’s right foot. By these 2 great ‘Kenyu goals’, the opponent lost their plot and Cerezo took the initiative.
Though 10 minutes later, Cerezo lost a goal by their careless miss, but this season’s Pink blossom warriors are strong enough and not falling out by such. And it was Hotaru Yamaguchi, the pillar of mid position, who added strength back into the team. At 27th minute, he managed to steal the ball from the opponent, and carried out to the shoot by right foot. The fast and low ball was sucked into the opponent’s goal. That brought the spirit back to Cerezo, and they managed to score the 4th and decisive goal at 35th minute, still in the 1st half. It was Mizunuma again who set up the goal. From right side, he made a cross by his left foot to defender Yusuke Maruhashi who were at in front of the goal as taking a part of the attack. He received the ball by his chest and kicked calmly by left foot. Though they lost another goal just before the end of 1st half, the 4 goals they earned in the 1st half gave them strength.
However, it’s just 2 goals difference at halftime. You never knew what would be happening as Urawa possess so many talented players and they are known for their ability of attack. Into the 2nd half, started with the manager Yoon Jung-Hwan’s encouraging pep ‘Don’t lose your concentration, once you lose it, the rhythm will be changed’, Urawa made 2 substitutions to try re-set themselves, and there was a dangerous scene with Urawa’s chance. However, like the event of Matej Jonjic made great cover up and got over the crisis, the team worked very hard and patiently. During the 2nd half, they carried out the ‘Equation of Victory’, i.e. bring Kazuya Yamamura down to a part of defence from top line. They didn’t add anymore goal, but despite tough game in hot and humid weather (29.4℃ / humidity 73％), The Pink blossom warriors kept running through till the end, more than the other team did. They kept the score 4-2 through to the end, and completed their revenge to Urawa Red’s. And that made their winning point up to 41.