My players worked hard as it was the last game before the international break. I have to admit that my decision partially caused today's result. I confidently sent on the players to the pitch, but Kobe actually exceeded mentally as well as physically. We are now having a difficult time. I believe that this break will get us back on the right track. Many fans came to the stadium to support us. I am really sorry that we could not have a good result. We will continue to work hard to improve our performance.
Today, I was passed many times, and I think that Kobe played well. When opponents are outplaying, normally we are put under pressure. We need to strengthen our resilience, especially for such a situation like today’s first half. The forwards were not good as well. So what we will do today is just reflect on our performances. I am disappointed that we could not win, but I would like players to have a good rest to have a fresh start. I am going to play at an international game. Before the World Cup, I would like to focus on preparation, as it will be the last residential training,
First defeat in this season. Cerezo needs a fresh start after international break
Cerezo took on Vissel Kobe at the 4th game in the J league after 3 days interval since Buriram United game in the AFC Champions League MD4. Cerezo Osaka headed toward the enemy’s territory with the hope of the first victory in the J League in this season. Yoon picked the same members, except for Soza who was replaced by Osmar. Yoichiro Kakitani who scored 2 goals in the past three league games, started from the dugout. Kenyu Sugimoto and Yang Dong Hyun were deployed together as a top 2.
Before the international break, Cerezo longing for 3 points had a big chance just after 50 seconds from the opening. Sugimoto who found an opening behind the defenders, met a pass from Riku Matsuda, and delivered a cross to Yang Dong Hyun, but it was not delivered well. Again, a chance arrived on the13th minute. Kota Mizutani running behind the defenders got a ball from Kim Jin-hyeon and drove a cross inside the box. Toshiyuki Takagi tried to meet the ball with a shot, which was not placed well. Late on, Kobe moved a defensive midfielder to the back to boost up the defensive line, which led Kobe to dominate possession. However, Cerezo decide to keep the 4-4-2 formation, not pressing forward. The Cerezo defence was too scruffy to close down Kobe. It was sometimes seen that Kobe carried the ball to the flank to drive a cross in comfortable way. All in all, the game was mediocre. Cerezo escaped to face any serious crisis, while Kobe could not get in the box of other end.
However, a careless mistake caused Cerezo to concede a goal after allowing the opponents to take the lead. The same events were seen in the past several games. On the 34th minute, Matej Jonjic who cut in Kobe's throw- in gave away the ball when he lost balance. The ball slipped away. Shuhei Otsuki was agile enough to pick up it for a side attack, delivered a cross. But it was cleared by Tatsuya Yamashita with header. Naoyuki Fujita picked up the second ball and converted it to a goal, which flew to the left side corner of the net.
Cerezo who had to bounce back, launched a frantic attack after half time. Their formation was for attacking. Hotaru Yamaguchi and Osmar, defensive midfielders, immediately sent the ball to the flank to deliver a cross to place it. On the 55th minute, Yusuke Maruhashi met the ball from Osmar, dribbled past a defender, and drove in a cross. Yamaguchi tackled to win the cleared second ball, but it was blocked. Also, on the 56th minute, Sugimoto met a cross from Toshiyuki Takagi with a shot, which was off the target.
On the 71st minute, Manager Yoon brought on Kazuya Yamura and Mizuki Ando for Mizunum and Takagi. The formation was changed to 5-5-2. However, the tactics did not work to turn their situation better. Their attack gradually faded away, which allowed Kobe to gain the upper hand. On the 84th minute, Lucas Podolski took a chance at the flank to fire a middle range shot in, which went to the back of the net. Cerezo eventually conceded the second goal. Cerezo had no choice to press forward. On the 87 minute, Maruhashi met Yamaguchi's cross with his header, which hit the bar. On the 87th minute, Kakitani who came on at 79 minutes as the third substitute dropped the ball from Maruhashi. Ando dashed to make the most of chance, but his shoulder touched the ball, which was judged as a handball. Even during additional time, Cerezo continued to work hard to score a goal, as seen that Ando challenged to get the last straw, dribbling the ball past the defenders with desperation to get a single goal. The game finished with a 0-2 defeat. Cerezo missed their first victory of the J League in this season.