First home victory with a spectacular goal rush! Check to break through the group stage of the Levin Cup!
J.League YBC Levain Cup Group Stage Section 3 with Oita Trinita at home. Cerezo Osaka overwhelmingly won with 6 goals in the second half. Showing the spectacular goal rush of cherry blossoms in full bloom, they won the long-awaited first home victory this season. The starting lineup, that was paid attention after a six days interval from the previous league match, was composed mainly with the members who had won the Cup matches so far in a row. Seiya Maikuma played the first starter after joining, and Kosei Okazawa, who is in his first year after being promoted from the academy, made his first appearance and first starter this season. Matej Jonic, who joined the team on the 10th of this month, also entered the bench. The Cerezo’s defense that started with the two FWs, Satoki Uejo and Sota Kitano worked well from the beginning of the game, and Kamijo made the first shot in the 2nd minute, and Kitano got a scoring chance in the 20th minute. He came out to the pass of Ryosuke Yamanaka, skilfully dribbled past the DF and shot, but unfortunately it was blocked by the GK. In the 22nd minute, Yamanaka boldly threw a middle shot from a distance, but it directly hit the crossbar. Although Cerezo continued their offensive, in the 24th minute, they conceded a goal due to Oita’s making use of the set-piece. Immediately after, in the 31st minute, Kitano stole the ball from the opponent’s GK with a bold press and shot. It was a decisive form, but it was covered by the DF and did not reach the score. They carried the game with the initiative, but the first half finished with 0-1.
In the second half, they reinforced the pressure of the press from the front more than the first half and caught up with the tie in the 48th minute. Tokuma Suzuki shot the clearing-ball of CK, and Maikuma hit the ball with his foot to change the course and poured it into the goal. In the scene of conceding a goal in the first half, Maikuma felt responsible for "being taken my back and giving FK by hand", but in the second half he fully demonstrated his driving force. He showed the overwhelming play. In the 50th minute, he dribbled past the two opponents and fed a cross, and Hikaru Nakahara, who picked up the DF's clear, cut in and shot. It hit the DF and was sucked into the goal. Cerezo gained momentum with the reversal at once, and added a point also in the 59th minute. Okazawa pressed and stole the ball, Hirotaka Tameda, who reacted to the loose ball after Maikuma’s shot hit the DF, made a return pass and Okazawa pushed it in with his header. This was Okazawa's first professional goal. He smiled and said "I'm glad that I got the result.”
After this, the pace was held by Oita for a while, but in the 68th minute Hiroto Yamada and Mutsuki Kato entered the pitch, and they raised the gear again. Then in the 80th minute, the throw-in at a high position was connected to Nakahara and Yamada, and Kato matched Yamada's pass and scored the 4th goal. Cerezo, who decided the match, added two more points in the additional time of the second half. From the short counter, Takashi Inui, who came out to Kato's pass, calmly poured it into the goal, and the last goal was by Yamada. He headed to the cross of Maikuma. Cerezo scored a large number of 6 points by all different players. In the 72nd minute, Matej Jonic, who returned, also entered the pitch and was welcomed back with a big applause from the supporters. Including the starters and substitutes, “Since every single player fulfilled each role, we were able to make a tie, a reversal, and such a wonderful victory," Manager Akio Kogiku praised the team. Cerezo, who won a satisfying victory, has now won three straight games at the Levain Cup group stage without losing. They increased their winning points to 9 and made a check to break through the group stage.