“I thank our fans so much who came over all the way to this far, despite us having such a busy schedule. We won today’s game because of our fans’ support and power. At the start of the game, our guys looked heavy and moving dull, and so lost a goal. They had to strive for turning this around in the 1st half. Then they scored a goal from a set-piece. The goal was scored by a very efficient play. After that, the lads were right into the match. We were under a lot of pressure, but defended through to the end and acquired the victory. Just one regrettable thing is that we haven’t had a game with a clean-sheet for a while. At the start of the game, they didn’t play well at first. That is something we must improve. However, within this hard schedule, the players have created the good mood, and they have been riding on it. I believe that we can conquer the hard schedule until May by all of us together. We have quite a few injuries, but the players are working so hard, and I would like to thank to the lads for that.”
■ Hiroshi Kiyotake
Q: What was in your mind when you entered to the pitch?
“We are wining at the moment, so I wanted to not lose any goals.”
Q: There were the banners from supporters too?
“Through the help and support by the manager, staff, team-mates, also families, I have made my return back to the pitch, but especially power of the supporters was huge, and I am so obliged to them.”
■ Smashed down the title holder of the league, and achieved to 3 consecutive victories in the league matches! Cerezo grabbed the huge win that will take them onto another wave.
Though after 4 minutes from kick-off Yoichiro Kakitani stole the ball from the opponent’s pass error and made a sparkling shot, Cerezo was struggled by Kawasaki F’s ball passing at beginning of the game. It was kind of expected development, but as Yoon Jung-Hwan looked back after the game “At the start of the game, our guys looked heavy and moving dull”, they were at Kawasaki F’s ball passes’ mercy, and unable to manage to build up their own pace, then in 22nd minute, lost a goal by an accidental situation. The forward pass by Eduardo Neto was blown backward by the strong wind and dropped at miraculous spot in between Tatsuya Yamashita and Matej Jonjic, missed by Kim Jin-hyeon too, and pushed into the goal by Kei Chinen.
However, Cerezo didn’t lose their pep by this, and started their counterattack immediately. In 24th minute, Yang Dong-hyun threaten the opponent goad from Yusuke Maruhashi’s feed, and in 26th minute, the pass from Kazuya Yamamura to Takaki Fukumitsu onto Kakitani made a chance too. Then in 31st minute, Kakitani succeeded to stop the pass by Yoshito Okubo by his good defence at middle of the pitch, and Yamamura quickly made a pass to Fukumitsu at front. Fukumitsu tried to dribble through towards the goal, and that caused Okubo who went up to defend a foul. The free-kick was taken by Maruhashi, and he sank the ball into the goal with his superb kick, that made Cerezo draw.
In 36th minute, Fukumitsu ran into the ball fiercely that was originally taken as a corner-kick by Atomu Tanaka and bending into the goal but punched by the goalkeeper Jung Sung-Ryong. Fukumitsu struck the ball with his header into the goal, that made Cerezo successfully come ahead from behind. It was the awaited 1st goal in J1 league for Fukumitsu who started from a local league in Kyushu and stepped up to JFL, J3, J2 and to date. He expressed his determination prior to the game; “when I’m given a chance, I want to prove myself with a result”, and displayed a fist pump for his satisfaction after scoring the goal.
After the successful turn round, as Hotaru Yamaguchi looked back “we shouted each other, created a firm block, and defended well”, Cerezo created firm 4-4-2 3 lines formation against Kawasaki F’s possessions. They had perfect distance each other within the allies of defence, Hotaru Yamaguchi intercepted ball repeatedly, and Matej Jonjic cleared all the opponent’s crosses. Though Kawasaki F sent talented substitutes like Manabu Saito and Akihiro Ienaga, Cerezo’s Eiichi Katayama showed great defence against them with good physical power, and Cerezo didn’t give any chance away to Kawasaki. Towards the end, Yasuki Kimoto was sent onto the pitch, and Cerezo defended the rest of the game with 5 backs, and managed to defeat Kawasaki F for 3 consecutive official games, i.e. the Levain Cup 2017 final, Fuji Xerox Super Cup in this season and this. Cerezo grabbed a huge win that will take them to ride on another wave by defeating the title holder of the league at the opponent’s home ground. Their next challenge will be at home after 2 days break against FC Tokyo who is 1 position above Cerezo.