J1 vs Shimizu S-Pulse: Match Review

The 1st league game after the break was total defeat, as the result and also the way they play. The Cerezo squad must re-set themselves, and face the next match at home.

The 1st J1 league match after some 2 months break. Cerezo Osaka stepped into home of Shimizu S-Pulse, along with Hotaru Yamaguchi and Kim Jin-hyeon who returned back from FIFA World Cup in Russia, in the starting line-ups. Yoichiro Kakitani who was injured at the 3rd round of the Emperor’s Cup was not playing in this match, replaced by Yang Dong-hyun at a part of 2 tops.

In 2 minutes after kick-off, Hiroshi Kiyotake had a chance by reacting to the cross sent from Yusuke Maruhashi, but since then, Cerezo allowed the opponent’s counter attack from their pass error, and failure of quick defending back sent the ball into their vital area. After defending for a while, in 11th minute, Cerezo lost a goal. Shimizu won second ball from corner-kick, and Hwang Seok-ho executed a targeted middle-range shot. Even after this 1st goal loss, Cerezo still struggled by failing quick reactions. But about 20 minutes later, as Shimizu relaxed down, Cerezo started to touch ball, however could not create effective attack. And in 25th minute, Kenyu Sugimoto received ball by his chest from Kota Mizunuma, and made a shot, but that went direct to the goalkeeper. Then in 28th minute, Shimizu scored an additional goal. They had break through with one touch pass at left side, made a cross that Tatsuya Yamashita couldn’t clear, then Koya Kitagawa who always plays very well at games against Cerezo finished it off.

After the struggling 1st half for both defence and offence, into the 2nd half, Cerezo tried with sending crosses from sides by simply pass the ball from the 2 tops, as they did towards end of 1st half. There was a moment of Sugimoto’s shot narrowly missed the frames in 58th minute. And in 61st minute, Yang Dong-hyun was replaced by Toshiyuki Takagi, Kiyotake moved from left side down to supporting position for strikers, and made the 4-2-3-1 formation.

However, in 67th minute, just as they started to try attacking, Cerezo messed up coordination of their defence, and that gave Shimizu the 3rd goal. But Cerezo didn’t give up to score a goal back, in 73rd minute, Kazuya Yamamura was sent to the pitch to replace Kiyotake, made 2 tops with Sugimoto, and in 77th minute Mizunuma was replaced by Takaki Fukumitsu. Cerezo tried hard by changing players and formations, but could not break through Shimizu’s firm defence. In reverse, they received counter attack, Yu Hasegawa broken through in the middle just before the final whistle and made a shot. Fortunately, it hit the post and didn’t go in, but Cerezo could not score until the end, and had total defeat. The embarkation of the series of 12 matches became a cruel start.