After a month interval since the second game of the Emperor’s Cup, Cerezo Osaka fought against Zweigen Kanazawa in the third game. The players in an almost full-strength side headed toward the opponent’s territory, apart from Kim Jin Hyeon and Hotaru Yamaguchi who participated in the 2018 World Cup. Hiroshi Kiyotake, an assistant captain, had the captain’s mark on his arm. Kanazawa faced to Cerezo after a three-day interval since the 22nd game of J 2. Manager Yoon changed 5 starting members, including Shohei Kiyohara and Honoya Shoji, and positioned Kiyohara as an attacking midfielder with a 4-2-3-1.
In the first half, Cerezo held possessions with fantastic build-up play, in which rhythmical passing stood out amidst Kanazawa’s hard press with man to man defence; a typical tactic of Manager Yanagishita, aiming to put a lot of pressure on the ball holder. On the 10th minute, Kakitani threaded a ball through to Mizunuma, who faced a one on one with the Kanazawa goalkeeper, but did the rest. Cerezo opened the scoring.
Immediately, Kanazawa intensified their attack, but Cerezo defenders including Matej Jonjic closed them down perfectly. On the 26th minute, after their fine passing move, Kiyotake met Kakitan’s cross with header, which doubled their lead. After 30 minutes passed, Kakitani who set up 2 goals collapsed in agony and was substituted.
During the last 15 minutes of the first half, fierce battles went on. On the 41st minute, Taiki Kato’s kick hit the bar, and Tanno grabbed the bouncing ball. On the 45th minute, Kenyu Sugimoto who met Mizunuma’s cross at the far side set it up for Yang Don-Hyun, a substitute for Kakitani. However, his header sent the ball straight to the goalkeeper. During additional time, a big chance arrived at Cerezo. Mizunuma struck a shot after Sugimoto dropped a ball threaded through by Kiyotake, but it narrowly went wide.
After half time, on the 50th minute, Yusuke Maruhashi fired a middle range shot, which hit the post. After the 60th minute, Cerezo struggled to get a second ball, which allowed Kanazawa to hold possession. On the 63rd minute, 72nd minute, and 83rd minute, they had to get through crunch times. On the 89th minute, Kanazawa’s No 10, Kiwara Miyazaki blasted a shot, but it hit the bar as it was slightly deflected by Tanno. On the 90th minute, Cerezo again gave away a chance to opponents. Koichi Sato, a substitute, hit the ball toward the post, but it went wide. After many struggles, Cerezo eventually managed to get out of trouble.
Kanazawa’s mistakes and Tanno’s brilliant save helped Cerezo in the second half. Just before the end of the game, Fukumitsu dribbled through the Kanazawa defenders and calmly placed it. Shortly after his third goal, the game was over. Cerezo will go forward to the next stage, the fourth game.