Cerezo Osaka promoted to the top from the second place in the J league table. The 18th game, first game of second stage was held at the Kincho stadium, against Kashiwa Reysol placed third. The starting members of Cerezo were the same as the last game against FC Tokyo. They were desperate to win after a 1-0 defeat in the 10th game. So, the players were very offensive from the kick-off.
In the opening 2 minutes, Kenyu Sugimoto fired a middle-range shot. Souza threatened the opponent with a sharp corner kick. Cerezo really pressed forward.
However, Cerezo failed to keep up its pace before Kashiwa challenged with its signature tactic, “pressing hard”. After 20 minutes, the battle heated up. Meanwhile some players were hit by injuries. The eleven men managed to survive, making strenuous efforts. Just before half time, after Christiane’s early cross, Kosuke Takefuji’s diving header hit the net.
Cerezo were behind 0-1 in the first half. The players never gave up.
On the 61st minutes, the manger Yoon brought on Ryuji Sawaue and Yusuke Tanaka after taking off Yoichiro Kakitani and Riku Mastuda. Immediately, the game changed. After Yusuke Hahimoto’s corner kick, Sugimoto picked up the ball that came out from Souza’s tackle against the opponents, and calmly shot with his left foot. The ball was sucked into the back of the net. After the equalizer, Cerezo played more offensively. The stadium’s energetic vibe and cheering helped them play hard. On the 70th minute, Cerezo got the winner. Kota Mizunuma, who had created numerous chances by crossing, made a fine pass, and a well-timed shot from Souza found the goal. His shot flew to the spot beyond the reach of the goalkeeper, Kosuke Nakamura.
Later on, the manager switched tactics in order to create chances for the counter-attack, making more solid defense. Yamanura moved further back. While Kashiwa’s attack was going on, Cerezo had focused on a game in high heat. It was a tough game. The defenders, Yamanura and Tanaka fought tooth and nail. The fans encouragement led them to fight till the end.
Eventually Cerezo achieved the revenge against Kashiwa, a 2-1 win. Kashima Antlers equalizer confirmed the League top of Cerezo on the day.
J1 Section 18 Kashiwa Reysol 2 - 1 J1 Section 18