From the right beginning of the game Cerezo overwhelmed FC Tokyo, at 1st minute, Hotaru Yamaguchi pounced on the opponent’s throw-in and Kazuya Yamamura got the ball. He sent a through pass to Kenyu Sugimoto, then Sugimoto slipped out and passed to Kota Mizunuma, and that Mizunuma’s shoot was the 1st chance. At 6th minute, Yamamura intercepted ball at high position, it was passed around to Yamaguchi then to Souza, and the pass from Souza was let through by Sugimoto to Yoichiro Kakitani who had a crucial chance by coming into inside from left. And that led Cerezo to the opening goal. At 11th minute, Mizunuma made a pass at FC Tokyo’s left side back, though Riku Matsuda hesitated at once he managed to continue pushing the ball through, and that made FC Tokyo’s goalkeeper Akihiro Hayashi and Ryoya Ogawa giving way for each other. So Matsuda kicked the ball through to the open goal. Matsuda looked back this scene later and chaffed “Cheers, mate!”, however, like the game against FC Tokyo at home, it shouldn’t be accidental that the 2 very determined guys scored against their former team.
Then it was Yoichiro Kakitani who shone in the rest of 1st half. He kept breaking through side of FC Tokyo’s 3 backs and one midfield anchor formation. He created chances to Cerezo at 18th, 21st and 31st minute, then Cerezo scored the additional goal at 44th minute, just before the half time whistle. It was Yamaguchi who intercepted ball with his fast action that he was performing many times today became the starting point person, he linked to Kakitani and Sugimoto, then Sugimoto opened up to right side. Mizunuma volleyed the ball cross that Matsuda dropped for him. “As soon as I kicked the ball, I knew it went in” said Kakitani later who volleyed that bullet pass into the net from far side.
Though there were some threatening scenes, Cerezo held FC Tokyo’s attacks under their control and dominated the 1st half, but since the match against Gamba Osaka at the 19th leg, even when they scored the opening goal, Cerezo was either caught up in the 2nd half and defeated or drawn at away matches, so how to play the 2nd half would be the question for their true value. Then at 71st minute, FC Tokyo’s Peter Utaka scored a goal assisted by the pass from Yojiro Takahagi, while many of Cerezo’s players were too far down and couldn’t catch up the opponents, and that made them just 1 goal difference.
But it was Sugimoto who just made his debut to the Japan International at the match against Saudi Arabia, changed the negative mood created by missed a chance and allowed counter goal to opponent. At 79th minute, the number 9 who received the superb pass from Kakitani and made break through, didn’t choose to pass the ball to Mizunuma who was running parallel to him, but kept dribbling towards goal. Then he earned a penalty kick for the fell caused by opponent defender, kicked the ball into the goal by himself, and ran up to behind the away goal where were covered in pink. “It was big impact that we managed to score a counter goal after the goal difference became just one” as Kakitani said, after this precious 3rd goal, Cerezo scored the decider, the 4th goal, at 85th minute. Souza took corner kick, made Sugimoto ran into near the goal by their eye sign, and delivered the perfect feed that was headed by Sugimoto into the goal. And that was, the decider.
J1 Section 25 F.C.Tokyo J1 Section 25