Cerezo Osaka faced the 1st game in June, the 14th round in J1 league. They invited Albirex Niigata, the 17th in the league at home at Kincho Stadium.
Under the beautiful blue sky, the day game kicked off at 15:00. The temperature rose up to 30.5℃ (87F) by the beating sun. The match started in the weather almost like a summer day, and became a war of attrition.
After 0-0 scoreless 1st half, Cerezo was struggling to get onto their rhythm for first 15 minutes of the 2nd half. Then the manager Yoon Jung-Hwan made an action. “Soccer has flow, and when the flow was bad, obviously you must change the flow, so I made the substitution” (by Yoon). At 65th minute, Yoon sent Ryuji Sawakami substitute to Kenyu Sugimoto who was one of core players at the front line. Then, like a reply to it, the flow started to run towards Cerezo. From the play that Sawakami was also involved, Cerezo got corner-kicks in a row, then Matej Jonjic was knocked down by opponent’s defender in front of the goal and earned a penalty-kick. Yoichiro Kakitani took the PK, he observed the Niigata’s goalkeeper Tatsuya Morita’s movement until the last second and faked the shot to the other side and scored calmly.
This one goal gave Cerezo the momentum. Since then, they made the most of set-play, one of their weapons of this season. At 73rd minute, a free-kick by Souza created a contention in front of the goal, then Kota Mizunuma made a carefully controlled left cross out from there that was received by Tatsuya Yamashita at far side. He shot the ball with a header with power of his whole body and shook the opponent’s goal nets. That was the 1st goal of the season by the defence leader Yamashita, and made Cerezo unstoppable. At 80th minute, Kakitani made a quick restart in an unguarded moment when Cerezo earned a free-kick at left side. Yamamura reacted immediately and struck the ball by toe-kick pierced into the other side of the goal in front of Niigata’s goalkeeper who came out to save. The number 24 Yamamura executed 3rd goal of 3 consecutive games. And the closing goal came at 86th minute. Souza executed the free-kick earned by himself directory into the goal, and it was also his 1st goal of the season too. At the end, Cerezo swept with massive 4 goals, they also defended persistent without losing any goals, and achieved the 4 consecutive league victories 1st time in this season. They won all the 8 regular games at home Kincho Stadium this season. The Macca of Cherry blossoms had a full of excitement and delight of the supporters again.
J1 Section 14 Albirex Niigata J1 Section 14