Levain Cup vs Kawasaki Frontale: Match Review

The first ever title in history of the club! The new page of the history book has been written here.

Receiving the beautiful choreographies made by supporters from both teams, players of the two teams were marching into the pitch with anthem of Levain Cup. What are going to happen in the match? The match with anticipation and anxiety began, and suddenly had a move. One minute after the kick-off, Eduardo, the Kawasaki’s defender missed to clear the ball that Yoichiro Kakitani headed to a slow-in made by Yusuke Maruhashi. The ball was effortlessly caught by Kenyu Sugimoto, and that made 1 vs 1 situation against Kawasaki’s goalkeeper Jung Sung Ryong. That was the great chance, and at the moment of Sugimoto shoot the ball into the net cool and calmly, the huge cheers, like rumbling of the earth, came out from Cerezo’s supporters’ seats that was behind goal of usually Urawa Reds’ home goal.

This lightening goal by Sugimoto made the game structure as Kawasaki possess ball and attack, and Cerezo created the defence block and aim the counterattack. After the opening goal, Cerezo spent lots of time for defending, however the defenders acted with good concentration, didn’t allow Kawasaki to score, and ended the 1st half with a clean sheet.

Kawasaki started the 2nd half with one substitution. The game progressed as the similar style like the 1st half. Though Cerezo got shoots by Yu Kobayashi at 49th and 56th minute, they didn’t allow to make it decisive. And at 61st minute, Cerezo made counterattack. Kakitani made a shoot to the pass Kota Mizunuma made to behind a defender, but it was saved by goalkeeper. Cerezo kept their systematic and firm defence as they did in the 1st half. Then it was Toru Oniki, the manager of Kawasaki F who made a move. He sent forwarder Kei Chinen as a substitute to Elsinho at right hand side-back. Then he moved Tatsuya Hasegawa to the right hand side-back, and made it 2 tops formation with Chinen and Kobayashi at top. After this Kawasaki’s shift change to power-play, Cerezo’s Yoon Jung-Hwan also made a substitute at 84th minute, sent Kazuya Yamamura in for Yoichiro Kakitani. Yamamura joined in the defence line, made it as 3 backs, and that made their defence at the middle became stronger.

The time was ticking to Cerezo for their first ever Coronation, and it was at 92nd minute. Cerezo had their much-wanted decisive an additional goal. While Kawasaki put many players at top, Cerezo caught them off their guard, and Riku Maeda made a long feed to Hiroshi Kiyotake at front. Kiyotake received the pass with perfect skill and passed the ball to Mizunuma who came running from behind. Then Mizunuma passed the ball to Souza who was unmarked just outside of the penalty area, then Souza turned goalkeeper Jung Sung Ryong away and scored a goal by a shoot to the spot that Kawasaki’s defender could not even reach. The behind of Cerezo’s goal became full of rejoicing. All the players and staff ran out of Cerezo’s bench, and blessed Souza. This goal pushed the expectation of the victory high up. Then… The final whistle of the chief referee Yuichi Nishimura was browed, and, at last, at that moment, Cerezo crowned the title at the first time in the club’s history. The thought by the team, the players and the supporters was exploded.