J2 vs Renofa Yamaguchi: Match Review

After the busy schedule of matches over the Golden Week holiday there was a one-week break until the next match, when Cerezo Osaka welcomed Renofa Yamaguchi to Kincho Stadium for their first ever meeting. Although they were only promoted from J3 at the start of this season, Renofa had been doing well in the second division and were sitting in 5th place coming into this game. For Cerezo, left fullback Kenta Mukuhara and holding midfielder Hideo Hashimoto were included in the starting lineup for their first appearances of the season.

Both teams were very aggressive from the outset, and there were some early opportunities at both ends. It was the away side who opened the scoring in the 12th minute, though, when Cerezo were unable to stop a neat passing move which Renofa full-back Ryuta Koike finished off after breaking in behind Cerezo's defence.

Cerezo reacted well, however, and were level in the 25th minute. Bruno Meneghel created the chance with his strong dribbling, and after Riku Matsuda delivered a cross from the right Kenyu Sugimoto’s header found its way back to Bruno who was on hand to smash a powerful volley into the net. Just two minutes later Souza's long ball triggered another attack, which Yoichiro Kakitani converted after nice combination play with Sugimoto.

Renofa took back the initiative in the second half, though, and threatened the Cerezo goal from consecutive set pieces around the 60th minute. Cerezo tried to change the flow of the game by introducing Teruyuki Moniwa in the 65th minute, but just a minute later Yuya Torikai headed home to make it 2-2 after a long Renofa throw-in. Then, in the 72nd minute, another slick Renofa attack was again finished off by Torikai to make it 3-2 to the visitors.

Cerezo brought Keiji Tamada and Kunimitsu Sekiguchi on as they aimed to return the game to level terms, but after missing an opportunity from a corner in the 86th minute they couldn't stop a Renofa counter attack, from which Koike scored his second of the day to make it 4-2.

The supporters at the stadium booed the team after the final whistle, as it was their second consecutive defeat and third match without a win at home for Cerezo. They were also leapfrogged by Renofa in the league table and now sit in 4th place.