As they’ve been doing for Levain Cup games so far, Cerezo made a great member changes from the league games for this match too. They had Takaki Fukumitsu who scored at 2 matches against Consadole Sapporo in the play-off stage, and also Toshiki Onozawa who were also a starting member for the last Levain Cup game.
From early stage of the game, both Cerezo and Urawa Red Diamonds were trying to attack promptly from behind of their opponent, switching defence and offence, coming back to the position quickly, and the game was neck and neck. Though Cerezo had a moment of threat by Urawa’s attack from wide area of both sides around 20th minute, they defended tenaciously and got over it, and at 26th minute had a chance for the play they were aiming for. Yasuki Kimoto managed to steel the ball from acute pressure in the opponent’s territory, and tried to attack at a burst. Unfortunately Takaki Fukumitsu’s shoot to the Kimoto’s pass in front of the goal went over the frame and missed to score, but Cerezo’s defenders kept their hard press, also created some threatening goal scenes to the opponent by Fukumitsu’s ran through behind the line and dribbling.
After the scoreless 1st half, Cerezo continued to develop their bold and progressive defence they were operating in the 1st half. But at one stage, they faced a serious crisis by Rafael da Silva’s down the line pass to Wataru Endo created the situation of 1 vs 1 to the goalkeeper. The Cerezo’s goalkeeper Kenta Tanno who had his 31st birthday on the day, confronted the situation. He watched out the opponent carefully, stopped his loop-shoot, and saved the goal. And Daichi Akiyama and all the eleven’s never gave up, and ran back as hard as they could, never allowed free shoot to opponent, and denied to be scored. “Regarding defence, under any circumstances, we just keep running, just keep chasing after the ball, that is what we’ve been doing since the qualifying group stage. Especially against Urawa, they are very strong team, so everyone understood the importance of the hard work, and we all ran so hard without any frustration.”, said Teruyuki Moniwa. Cerezo never loosen their attitude of hard work they’ve been showing from the group stage, until the end.
On the other hand, the offence side, Cerezo sent Yoichiro Kakitani at 77th minute, Souza at 84th minute, and also put Yusuke Maruhashi who has power of drive at right size of mid-field at 86th minute, and tried hard to win at their home, but they couldn’t manage to crack Urawa’s defence network. The 1st round of 2 games ended 0-0 draw. However, as Tanno said “At 2 games regulation, it was very important for us to not give any away goals, so that was good thing at least”, Cerezo held Urawa without goals, and that opened up the dominant chance to win through by scoring a goal at the 2nd round, even if it would be a score draw. And also, as a team, they have achieved to keeping clear sheet since 2nd round of the play-off stage. As it looks the firm defence, this season’s Cerezo’s trade mark, rose back, the expectation for the next game is rising up too.
YBC Levain Cup Urawa Reds 0 - 0 YBC Levain Cup