J1 vs Sanfrecce Hiroshima: Match Review

Painful Defeat results in further drop down from top in the League Table. No decisive goal: Cerezo concedes a goal by counter attack despite pressing forward early on.

Shortly after the kick-off, Cerezo took the lead, creating chances, which happened on the 3rd minute and on the 5th minute in attacking at Hiroshima side. The first chance was; Souza nimbly reacted to cut it in when their pass went wrong, and quickly sent it to Mizunuma.
Kenyu met Mizunuma’s pass but failed to hit the net.

The second chance was; Tatsuya Yamashita blocked a pass that was sent to a Hiroshima’s forward. Yoichiro Kakitani cut it in, crossed it to Kazuya Yamamoto, who met it with his header but it went over the bar. Cerezo couldn’t turn these chances to a goal. After the 10 minutes had passed, Hiroshima dominated a ball possession. Cerezo had no choice but play defensively not to allow them any shots at the goal. Cerezo were in a pinch sometimes. To get it through, their tactics switched from offensive to defensive. The combination of Hotaru Yamaguchi and Souza successfully pressed Hiroshima back. On the 39th minute, the biggest chance arrived. The ball cut by Yamaguchi was sent to Sugimoto, who passed to Kakitani, who sent it to Yusuke Maruhashi. However, the fine cross from Maruhashi towards a goal was pushed away by goalkeeper. Sugimoto instantly reacted to the rebounded ball, and shot it towards the net, but Soya Takahashi, Hiroshima’s defender saved it. Later on, Cerezo had consecutive chances for corner kicks near the end of the first half. Unfortunately, they couldn’t turn it around. The first half was over at 0-0, though they pushed hard, facing Hiroshima’s attacks with persistent resilience.

Cerezo desperate for a goal went up a gear in the second half.
On the 46th minute, Mizunuma passed a ball, Riku Matsuda ran into the penalty area to meet it but his placement was off-target. On the 59th minute, Hiroshima picked up a ball from Sugimoto, and made a speedy counter attack. Matsuda sprinted back to save the deadly attack. But for his rescue, it would have cost Cerezo a lot. Facing the opponents’ threats, they kept possession. The frustrated Cerezo put out an offensive side, resulting in creating unmarked space that increased chances for Hiroshima’s counter attack. On the 70th minute, the bad thing happened that was somehow predicted beforehand. Cerezo’s mistake turned the game for the worse. They conceded the opening goal, made by Hiroshima ‘s counter attack. Toshihiro Aoyama immediately took the chance to cut in when a Cerezo’s pass went wrong. He moved the ball towards the goal, passed it to Patric at the goal front, Felipe Siva sprinted to meet it for the final touch.

The situation turned to something like “ Who knows who will win.” Frustrated, the manager, Yoon, sent on Yasuki Kimoto for Souza, and Ryuji Sawakami for Yamamura on the 80th minute. He expected it would have worked as a game changer but a dramatic upset was unseen. However, Sugimoto exerted himself to create numerous goal chances near the end of the game, intending to level with the opponents. On the 84th minutes, Sugimoto picked up a ball, kicked it towards a penalty area, and frantically ran on to the goal to meet the cross from Matsuda. Despite of his effort, the defender closed him down. He had no chance to hit the target.
On the 1st minute of the additional time, Sugimoto attempted to score a goal after a pass from Yamaguchi. He cleared a defender, but couldn’t beat the goalkeeper.

Cerezo couldn’t gain the upper hand till the end of the game. Even Sugimoto shot 6 times during the game, which was the most shots at this game, they couldn't score any goals. Even 11 corner kicks couldn't create any chances as no players could meet it. It would be counted as the reason for the defeat. The commander, Yoon admitted their defeat later, saying “ We were inferior to Hiroshima for all aspects.” Cerezo are ten points behind the leaders. Today’s game was a painful defeat for Cerezo who were desperate to come from behind to win.