J1 vs Jubilo Iwata: Match Review

Cerezo Osaka is back to J1 after 3 seasons. At their home ground, Yanmar Stadium Nagai - known as the Mecca of historical cherry blossoms, they faced Jubilo Iwata led by manager Hiroshi Nanami. Cerezo lacked Hiroshi Kiyotake in their line-up because of his injury.

Though it was only 9.7℃ but nice sunny day, they had 33.208k spectators. Cerezo Osaka struggled in the 1st half by the team ‘Sax Blue’ by their ball passing skills, and the team now has a Japanese national player, the lefty Shunsuke Makamura who just joined Jubilo Iwata from this season. However Cerezo has been working on their defence from right beginning of their training with the new manager Yoon, the blossom warriors kept their calm. Solid defence led by the centre back pair Matej Jonjić and Tatsuya Yamashita, held Jubilo’s players back and didn’t allow them to come in.

At 36 minutes, GK Kim JinHyeon denied Jubilo Iwata’s Midfielder Adaílton dos Santos da Silva’s middle shot. However Iwata’s new star player Nakamura’s set-pieces became real threats, and there was a dangerous situation at Iwata’s corner kick just before halftime, but got over it with a contribution of Iwata player’s foul.

On the other hand, during 1st half Cerezo Osaka also started to get their rhythm, and managed to create some chances by side attacks that they’ve been practicing in their training under Yoon’s conduct. At 27 minutes, Souza received the feed from Riku Matsuda from right side and hit middle shoot, also at 45 minutes Sugimoto reacted to Matsuda’s early cross with an opponent defender. The ball hit the defender and reflected towards Iwata’s goal, but hit the bar and missed the goal.

“I feel good vibes. Be conscious to support your team mates as quick as you can. And keep your concentration until to the end.” Yoon gave the instructions to the players at halftime, however Cerezo faced an accident soon after the 2nd half began. Kota Mizunuma suffered by an injury and was substituted by Mitsuru Maruoka who had never played for J1 games until then. And it was Jubilo Iwata pacing at beginning of the 2nd half. Cerezo also showed some struggling with Iwata’s new forwarder Kengo Kawamata’s driving power.

But they managed to keep their concentration on their defence. “Everyone were so conscious about what we’ve been practising, all the 11 players played compact and covered each other, so we didn’t allow them to create critical situations.” Said Kim JinHyeon.

Then Cerezo increased their chances by handler Yamaguchi’s works and the intercept by Souza. At 78 minutes, Yamaguchi passed the ball to Kunimitsu Sekiguchi, then it connected to Kakitachi who had a shot with his left foot but just missed the goal. Cerezo built up their offence by adding Ricardo Santos in at 86 minutes, Yusuke Maruhashi had a shot at 87 minutes, Kakitani and Ricardo Santos also made attempts in the additional time, however they were held and denied by Iwata’s GK Kaminski. Cerezo managed to not lose any points and resulted because of their defence, but there was no goal in this game, and Yoon’s Cerezo Osaka’s 1st game ended as a no score draw.

J1 Section 1 Jubilo Iwata J1 Section 1